TEHRAN — Iranian tour guides are being trained to provide accessible tours for people with disabilities as well as the elderly, a tourism ministry official said.
In order to facilitate tourism for the disabled and the elderly, the Ministry of Tourism is working to improve the knowledge of tour guides in this area, Mehr said on Wednesday, quoting Mohammad Esmaeil Sheikhqarai.
The goal is to make all aspects of travel, from transportation to booking accommodation to visiting resorts, simple and stress-free for this target community, the manager explained.
In recent years, several tours have been organized for people with disabilities, the elderly and children to bring vitality and longer life expectancy and encourage growth and prosperity, he added. .
In 2019, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) attached great importance to the creation of the international “accessible tourist destination”, aimed at ensuring that a destination can be enjoyed by any tourist, regardless of their physical, sensory or cognitive abilities. .
The global prevalence of disability is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date back to the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This overall estimate of disability is increasing due to the aging of the population and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.
A 2011 census observed a significant demographic change in Iran’s elderly population (the percentage of elderly population increased from 7.27 to 8.20% from 2006 to 2011 and to 8.65% in 2016). The aging population is expected to reach 10.5% in 2025 and 21.7% in 2050.
In addition to people with disabilities, accessibility is also very important when it comes to the rights of the aging global population. As we age, the risk of facing a permanent or temporary disability increases dramatically. Accessibility is a key element of any responsible and sustainable development policy that benefits not only people with disabilities but society as a whole.