Head of Incoming Department of Titco Tour Travel Agency
What would you most like to get out of this network?
I would like to learn more about sustainability in general and sustainable tourism in particular. Further I would like to gather support for one sustainable project that is on my mind for the Southwest of Turkey and which I hope to realize with a lot of others.
What knowledge, skills and experience do you have that you would be happy for people to contact you over?
My knowledge concentrates on history (of art) and on anthropology. My specialism in the latter is (pastoral) nomadism. My skills are teaching, writing and organizing (tours and relief programs). My experiences are built up by NGO's (educational, environmental), by work (teacher, guide/tourleader, coordinator earthquake relief and tour operator) and through hobbies (walking, reading, music-ing, writing, painting)
Hello! I see you are a fully-fledged community builder. Let me know if we could cooperate in the NGO sector. I am also into entrepreneurship contributing to canalizing foreign investments in Bulgaria. Besides, I have good bonds with Turkish and Dutch fellows as a I pretty much admire both countries and peoples...
This is one of the things that we will be looking into with the WHL project. We are breaking the building of the portal down into 4 main sections in the following order:
1) Assessment of Accommodation
2) Assessment of Transport and Transfers
3) Tours and Activities
4) Other Services such as medical aid hire and personal assistants.
We are doing it like this as the accommodation is the main thing that people are looking for and detailed, reliable information for people with disabilities is hard to come by. Then people with disabilities have to be able to get to the accommodation and move within the country, therefore we look at what types of transport are available. Once this is established we can then look at tours, as, in the most part, to undertake a tour, transport is required.
If there are fully accessible vehicles for hire at your destination with ramps, lifts and fixtures for wheelchair users then you have no problems in that area. If you do not have this available (such as is my case in Nicaragua) then you can only offer tours to specific people and each case should be assessed person by person. For example; if you don't have adapted transport then it is difficult to accept electric wheelchair users. This is for two reasons; firstly, they may not be able to transfer out of their chair into a normal vehicle and secondly even if they can, then how do you take their chair with you on the tour? They weigh a lot and rarely fold up into the trunk of a car.
On the other hand, if you're using 4x4's for the tours, I am able to get into them and so are many other people with disabilities. You just need to make sure that in the description of the tour you inform people of the type of vehicle (saloon car, 4x4, mini or micro bus, coach etc.) that will be used and give a photo if possible.
The idea of inclusive travel for people with disabilities isn't about everything being perfect, take a look at my profile picture and my photo albums, I can do almost anything with a little help. Having said that, it should be clear on tour descriptions if the person is going to require help!
You have rightly pointed out that there is more to life than just physical disability, there are also sensory and mental disabilities where physical barriers may be less of a problem.
I would suggest is that you stay away from symbols as people require detailed information. I think, as I've said here a few times, deatailed information is the key to providing tours for people with disabilities. If you give good information about the access on the tour, people can make their own decisions about if it is suitable for them. In my opinion, it is not up to us to decide what is and is not accessible or suitable for an individual with a disability, if we give them all the information that they require and we're as flexible as possible we can empower people to make up their own mind.
If you'd like me to take a look at your tour descriptions and help you provide the information required I'd be more than happy.
Many of my friends and people with disabilities think I'm crazy for living in Nicaragua, but I made an informed choice. This is not an accessible country and it can be tough at times but that just makes the rewards of living here even greater!
I hope this helps a little and we will get around to addressing this issue in the near future for the WHL project. We are currently looking for at 2 MPO's from each region to join in the pilot scheme for people with disabilities and I hope that you may be interested. Drop me a line if you are.
Nou Her, ik hou niet zo van zwart/wit denken maar ik hou van CG Jung, Nietsche van The Beatles en Lucifugum, van bier en pep, van Hardcoreparty's en Death metal concerten, van kennis en een leeg hoofd. En ... jij?