Accessible Tourism enables people with access requirements, including mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive impairments, to function independently and with dignity through the delivery of universally designed tourism products, services and environments. This includes all people including those travelling with children in prams, people with disabilities and senior citizens.
"Accessible tourism is about making it easy for all people to enjoy tourism experiences irrespective of age, gender or physical status".
The Universal Accessibility Declaration is a commitment to the implementation of UA principles by role players in the broader tourism value chain to achieve the following objectives:
Universal Accessibility Declaration
Universal Access (UA) in Tourism has been identified by the Department of Tourism as an important initiative to enhance South Africa's competitiveness to be one of the Top 20 tourism destinations by 2020. This inspired the development of a Framework for UA in a City Destination in 2011. The purpose of the framework is to provide the tourism sector, municipalities and all the interest groups with a blueprint that can be used towards achieving a Universally Accessible city destination.
As part of the implementation of the Framework, the Directorate: Responsible Tourism secured commitment from one City Destination to pilot the Framework. A self-assessment survey was sent to five cities namely; Johannesburg, Pretoria, East London, Cape Town and Durban. Once completed, the questionnaires were sent back to the Department for assessment. Cape Town and Durban were selected to take part in the pilot project.
Consultations were held with each city, and both cities committed to appointing independent service providers who would develop tools that would be used to assess the attractions in each city excluding accommodation establishments. To facilitate the UA assessment of accommodation establishments in Cape Town and Durban, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) was engaged as they already have criteria for assessing accommodation establishments for UA compliance.
The piloting of the project comprised of two components:
The Reports for the UA City Destination Pilot Project will be available once they are finalised.
Universal Accessibility City Destination
Recommendations of the study
The Implementation Plan for UA in Government Owned Provincial Parks was developed in consultation with provincial stakeholders and will be made available once it has been approved.
Final Report on the state of UA in Government Owned Provincial Parks-2014
The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA)
The mandate of the TGCSA is to grade tourism establishments. UA grading has now been integrated with and forms part of the standard TGCSA grading criteria for all-star grading categories of accommodation and conference facilities.