The organizers of the conference pointed out the following aspects: First was the promotion of accessible tourism for social inclusion and economical development in the region. Second was the identification of activities on adaptation of the environment. Additionally, both Georgian and international tourism experts explained that in order for tourism to be successful in the area, the social responsibility of the business sector should be significantly enhanced.
“The conference did not only serve the purpose of finding possible ways to develop accessible tourism in the region, but also to increase social responsibility within society, because it is important for us to make both locals and tourists feel comfortable in Batumi,” said Mamuka Berdzenishvili, the Deputy Head of the Department of Tourism and Resort of Adjara.
Even though tourism is rapidly developing in the region, people with disabilities are not exposed to such touristic offers as others. According to the experts, private sectors play an important role in the situation. Therefore, their representatives should realize that people with disabilities are not a burden for society and, instead, that their social services can be beneficial for the economical development of the country.
As Chris Veitch said, it is important to have a detailed plan of action in order to succeed in the development of accessible tourism for people with disabilities. First of all, along with the adaptation of buildings and public transport, it is crucial for those staff members who provide public services for citizens to undergo special trainings that would help them to be useful for their clients.
“This conference is very interesting and important because it gives us the opportunity to explain to the government, as well as private sectors, that it is possible to reach very productive economical outcomes with limited expenses, because people with disabilities who travel with their relatives would form a significant group of tourists,” said Irina Chakvetadze, Expert of Adapting Environments.
At present, Batumi City Hall is the only decision-maker in this issue. Notably, its representatives are working to improve the situation.
The conference lasted until November 24 and was organized with support of non-governmental organization “PARSA” as well as the European Network for Accessible Tourism.