Training Programme on Accessible Tourism - Sri Lanka

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Boundless Discoveries Pvt Ltd conducted a Accessible Tourism training programme for the executive staff of Club Hotel Dolphin, Waikkal, Sri Lanka. The hotel became the first in Hemas Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka to receive this training. The programme included sessions on disability awareness, theoretical models of disability, the laws and policies relating to disability, disability terminology and disability etiquette. There was special focus on the needs of older travellers too. The training programme ended with a simulation exercise where the trainees practically experienced disability and shared their experiences in group presentations.

Accessible Tourism is still a novel idea to Sri Lanka. A country still awakening into disability inclusion.

However, the beauty of Sri Lanka coupled with the renewed hospital of its people will enhance with more awareness on inclusion.

Club Hotel Dolphin is located close to Colombo's international airport and along the lovely beach. The hotel has sprawling gardens dotted by cottage type accommodation. A relaxing venue where the staff provide you excellent service.

In 2015 the General Manager of Club Hotel Dolphin invited Boundless Discoveries Pvt Ltd to conduct a training programme on accessible tourism for all their Executive grade staff. While they already provide reasonable access to a guest with a disability they also do many projects for the benefit of children living with disability.

The staff were keen on learning how they could be more welcoming to a guest with a disability. They were trained on the theories of disability and also the laws and policies relating to disability.

The Boundless Discoveries team presented them with practical examples, video clips and tips on disability etiquette. They were also sensitised on disability terminology.

The last session of the training was an exercise which enabled the Executives to experience disability and to navigate various locations with the temporarily acquired disability.

Their final presentations brought out several aspects they have so far overlooked and the trainees made a firm commitment to making changes in their policies as well as in the built environment to create a more independent space for a guest with a disability.

The major outcome of the workshop was the change in attitudes and perceptions on disability.