Accessible tourism: scuba diving opens up to travelers with disabilities in Thailand
With 15% of the world’s population living with a disability, accessibility is one of the greatest challenges facing the global tourism sector.
Travel excursions are invariably aimed at able-bodied people, leaving disabled travelers with few options for getting out and about while on vacation.
But in Thailand, a tour operator hopes to solve this problem with a new scuba diving excursion accessible to everyone.
“It was a new experience and I was impressed,” says Araya Nantayu, a visually impaired woman who took part in the trip to southern Thailand.
“The important thing is that there was a guide who was friendly and always there to help. I wasn’t scared at all. »
Is Thailand suitable for people with disabilities?
The Accessible Diving Experience has begun off the coast of Trang Province, following a push to inclusiveness In the region.
Nitcharee Peneakchanasak helped organize the trips to the Andaman Sea. Under the supervision of a guide, groups descend more than 15 meters below the surface and explore the famous Emerald Cave on Koh Waen.
“It was my first time diving in the Trang Sea,” says Nitcharee.
“It was a beautiful environment and we saw an abundance of marine life underwater. We came with friends who wanted to dive. Each of them has a disability but they wanted to experience diving through them themselves.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is currently adapting the facilities at the nearby Pak Meng wharf to make the site more accessible to people with disabilities.
For Araya, this decision means a change of attitude towards trip included in the countryside.
“I would like to tell all people with disabilities that the world is still open to us if we don’t close our hearts.”
Watch the video above to learn more about accessible tourism in Thailand.