What Happens in Disabled Tourism

What Happens in Disabled Tourism

5 minutes Tatiana Grigorieva 213

In Russia, where recently everything possible has been done for the disabled to ensure maximum comfort, the issues of their recreation are rarely raised, and at the same time very few people believe that it can be active.

But for most other countries, tourism for people with disabilities (HH) is a standard form of life, and none of them deny themselves this right. All specialists in the field of medicine and social policy are deeply convinced that this type of leisure activities is an integral part of the integration of a disabled person into society.

What is tourism for people with disabilities?

Tourism for the disabled is a special kind of recreational tourism, that is, the movement of people for recreation, required to restore moral and physical strength, spent in their free time from work.

In most countries of the world, due to its accessibility, this type of leisure has long become widespread and widespread so that almost every disabled person can afford to go on the desired trip. That is why people, traveling abroad, are surprised that there are a lot of disabled people there.

In fact, in other countries, such citizens have more opportunities to spend leisure time outside the home and even travel, in contrast to disabled people living in Russia and the CIS. The legislation of many states fully supports the idea of ​​the full value of a person with disabilities and his unconditional right to the standard of living that is necessary for him for physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual and social development.

And the opportunity to travel, meet new people, local history and historical objects is considered as an indispensable component of the integration and socialization of the individual.

The benefits of active leisure

Thanks to the development and implementation of approaches to tourism for people with disabilities, it becomes much easier for them to meet their socio-cultural needs. By getting involved in tourism and local lore activities, people with disabilities simultaneously receive a whole list of benefits, including:

After such events, a significant part of people with disabilities find themselves not only like-minded people and new friends, but also various feasible activities that have a beneficial effect on their life position in general.

Disabled tourism

Inclusive tourism. One of the key principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the principle of equality of opportunity, full and effective involvement and inclusion of persons with disabilities in society on an equal basis with others. All people want to be able to travel. Let's take a look at what inclusive tourism is and why it is so important in the modern world.

First of all, do not confuse the term “inclusiveness” with the concept “all inclusive”. Here it should be understood that this does not mean that everything is included, but that everyone, including the disabled, has the right to tourism.

In a broad sense, inclusiveness means the ability of people to participate in different aspects of life - culture, art, everyday life, travel - regardless of their status, age, background, gender and health status.

If we turn to Western sources, tourism for people with disabilities is most often referred to as “accessible tourism”, which means “accessible tourism” and is a complex of tourist services, including architectural, transport, informational and also financial accessibility.

If you ask a disabled person where he is resting, you will most likely hear one answer - “In a boarding house/sanatorium”. And not because people with disabilities like to relax in these places so much, but because they simply do not have other opportunities. There are still very few accessible tourist complexes where people with disabilities are ready to receive. And if they do exist, then the cost of services there is very high.

Surely many people with disabilities would prefer to relax like normal people. Not in a health resort, where they are treated like sick. They want to relax and gain new strength, impressions, and not savor the diagnosis made by doctors. When and where to rest, they also want to decide for themselves. And not only when the state deigns to allocate a ticket to a sanatorium. And often at the wrong time for them. And not in the most desirable place.

Inclusive tourism can be implemented in various forms: both with direct visits to tourist sites and remotely. For people with limited mobility, virtual tourism is most relevant, which enables people with disabilities, thanks to modern technologies, to visit the sights of their region, Russia and foreign countries, and the opportunity to expand the circle of their social contacts.

Inclusive tourism is a multifunctional type of leisure activity and can be considered as a direction of social and cultural rehabilitation, performing the following functions:

  • a compensatory function that contributes to the realization of personal potential that is not in demand in everyday, social, work and family life;
  • a developmental function, which is realized through enrichment of horizons, active cognition of natural phenomena, traditions, physical, emotional and spiritual and moral development of the individual;
  • a communicative function that contributes to the establishment of new social contacts, friendly and business ties, overcoming the monotony of life;
  • hedonistic a function that contributes to the formation of a positive psychoemotional state, an increase in psychological security;
  • a rehabilitation function that contributes to the restoration of human resources, the prevention of psychosomatic diseases, maintenance of physical fitness and health;
  • an adaptation function, which is based on the fact that tourism is a complex means of adaptation by overcoming social lack of demand, enhancing personal potential and maintaining a positive attitude towards life.

Improving inclusive tourism can significantly simplify life and give new travel prospects not only for people with disabilities, but also for the elderly, pregnant women, families with small children or animals, people who do not know foreign languages, or tourists with great the amount of luggage.

Unfortunately, inclusive tourism is not developing so quickly and not in all countries. Of course, almost everywhere there are expensive five-star hotels with special rooms, apartments and other facilities for people with disabilities. For them, this is an important condition for assigning the next "asterisk". But is it financially affordable for most people with disabilities? Unfortunately, it's safe to say no.

What is tourism for people with disabilities, the benefits of outdoor activities. Difficulties of organization and unlimited opportunities, participation of charitable organizations.

This article was born after a friend of the editorial board went on a journey with a broken leg. We give her the floor.

The day before, I made a trip with a friend to Kuala Lumpur for a few days. She broke her leg shortly before the trip. I am convinced that we did not feel all the difficulties on our own skins, but we understood quite well the difference between my trip and the trip of a friend who walked on crutches.

Still, this did not spoil the impression of our trip. That is why I decided to write this article. Traveling with some restrictions is quite difficult. But this does not mean that it is unrealistic. Every day the world is changing and becoming more accessible and enjoyable for people with disabilities - you just need to use it and set off on the road. We will tell you how to make the task easier and go on an independent journey.

Where can a disabled tourist go?

The main question people are interested in is how do I get on board the plane and use the bathroom there? I think the UK is the most convenient country for travel. Here, everything that is created for the disabled is created for convenience, and not just to put a tick. And they have been using this equipment for decades.

Most cities reward “accessibility” for people with disabilities. If you are traveling for the first time, choose something from the list so that the difficulties that you may encounter do not discourage your thirst for travel:

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia. There are a large number of pedestrian zones, ramps in all the main attractions, and there are also specially equipped ski lifts in the local ski resort;
  • Warsaw, Poland. There are convenient walking paths and ramps in places that tourists often visit. But if it turns out that they are absent, then you will certainly be helped;
  • Jerusalem, Israel. In 2012, the Knesset passed a law, according to it, all places visited by tourists were to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2018 - and local residents coped with this task. In addition, local buses and some taxis have also been equipped for people with disabilities;
  • Frankfurt, Germany. There are many pedestrian zones in this city, most cafes and shops have a special entrance, which you can easily use while in a wheelchair. There is even a small tutorial on how to get around the city;
  • Sydney, Australia. Local authorities take care of people with disabilities: you can visit all the attractions while in a wheelchair, using the local transport is quite simple, and even in public toilets there are designed handrails for people with disabilities.

I noticed that most people are very interested in how I travel, but people do not dare to ask such questions directly. Usually they ask questions related to everyday things - how is boarding, what is the difference from traveling by car. Many are simply perplexed when I tell them that I fly alone. People believe that if you are in a wheelchair, then you definitely need a person to accompany you. However, this is not at all the case. Once, with a few more guys, we got from Moscow to Vladivostok. We did the replacement of the damaged wheel on our own, and, in principle, coped with everything.

Finland is an ideal holiday destination. The environment here is not just accessible, but versatile. This means that everyone, without exception, will be comfortable here. This applies not only to Helsinki, but also to small towns near the border.

Some tips for disabled tourists

Most people cannot even think that a person with a disability can travel, so in most cases I am asked questions about how it all happens. I often say that there are no difficulties, you just need to buy a ticket, get to the airport, call a special escort service, whose staff will meet and escort you to the ticket office, and then assist you in boarding the plane.

A person with a disability wants to travel in the summer just like a healthy person. A large number of people with disabilities, disabled people and the elderly, hardly travel

Recently, the head of Rostourism Oleg Safonov said that this department had prepared a tourism development plan for pensioners and people with disabilities. Elderly and disabled people are expected to help fill the tourism business during off-season times when regular tourist flows are low.

About how correct this approach can be called, what prevents the organization of quality recreation for people with disabilities, and what needs to be done to correct the situation, we talked with the head of the Center for the Development of Social and Educational Projects "Aura", accessible tourism expert Svetlana Nigmatullina - the first certified guide in Russia who moves in a wheelchair.

Benefits, but not freebies

- How would you comment on the proposals made by the head of Rostourism?

- If we mean that people with disabilities should visit resorts and attractions not in the high season, that it will be too expensive for them during the high season, it seems to me that this is the wrong approach.

After all, other people can afford to visit resorts in the warm season, to visit, for example, St. Petersburg during the white nights ... Why should not people with disabilities be among them? Giving people with special needs the low season is a kind of limitation.

I think that discounted rates for people with disabilities can be envisaged in any season. Not free - I do not consider it correct to introduce such privileges for disabled people so that they do not pay for anything. Because now we have many opportunities to work and earn. And when we give people with disabilities too much free money, I think it kind of corrupts.

The dependent position needs to be gotten rid of, and it is precisely the opportunity to travel that can stimulate a person to work, to earn money to travel.

There is where to go, but there is nothing to drive

At the All-Russian Conference on the Development of Affordable Tourism, organized by Rostourism in Moscow on December 4, the main problems and interesting practical cases of inclusive tourism were discussed. It became clear that there are still many problems, but at the same time, there are also more cases than 2-3 years ago, including those developed by large Russian tour operators, which have not yet been involved in the development of such a complex and non-mass product.


Lusine Matosyan, Head of the Department of State Tourism Projects and Tourism Safety in Rosturizm, noted in her welcoming speech, “In Russia, inclusive tourism is just beginning to develop, facing infrastructural, legislative and other restrictions. Our task is to build a systematic work that will create a competitive tourism product in the country for people with disabilities, which will be in demand among our citizens and foreign tourists. "

Actually, the last conference can be considered the next beginning of building a systematic work.

Ms Matosyan also stressed that there are very few companies on the tourism market that provide such services, and there is practically no competition in inclusive tourism, therefore, in addition to stimulating the industry, special attention should be paid to promoting specialized tourism products for persons with disabilities.

Igor Fomin, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, shared some encouraging news. “The working group on social tourism under the Coordinating Council for Tourism Development has developed its proposals to be included in the Action Plan for the Tourism Development Strategy until 2035, and they have already been sent to the Ministry of Economic Development,” he said.

ATOR Executive Director Maya Lomidze said that “The Association of Tour Operators has dealt with this topic to one degree or another. Participation in the conference is a confirmation that we intend to closely tackle the problems in the field of inclusive tourism and support those market participants who develop a product for people with disabilities. "

Moderator of the event, First Deputy Chairman of the All-Russian Public Organization "All-Russian Society of Disabled People" Flyur Nurlygayanov, focused the attention of those present on the fact that now amendments to the law on tourism are being prepared, which will allow the federal center to spread the principles of accessibility of services for people with limited opportunities (federal program "Accessible Environment") and the tourism industry.

“Already now we need model tourism products, as a priority - for domestic tourism, which could then be scaled up within the entire industry,” said Mr. Nurlygayanov.


One of the most unexpected was the speech of the administrative director of the tour operator ANEX Tour Alexandra Dmitrieva, who presented the new ANEX Tour project "Rest without Borders", which provides for special programs and prices for travel in Russia and abroad for persons with disabilities ... Within the framework of the project, the company conducts a full survey of hotels by the specialists of the receiving offices and compiles a list of hotels that are truly adapted to receive tourists with disabilities in 10-12 popular holiday destinations, such as Turkey, Greece, Spain, the Dominican Republic, etc.

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