Tourism catering to the disabled

It was exactly one year ago when I wrote an article in relation to working with the disabled. Now one year later my team is working with the New Life Deaf Club in preparation for a workshop which is scheduled to take place September 26 during the International Week of the Deaf.

I have the same concerns today that I had on August 30, 2012 when I wrote: “My question today is how prepared are we in terms of dealing with disabilities. How can we do better in this regard? First let me say that the market for persons travelling with disabilities is a huge one, there are thousands of persons from within our major source markets who have one disability or another.

“Having a disability however does not preclude persons from travelling and enjoying a full life. What is important to understand is that these persons have special requirements like everyone else and knowing their requirements is a good first step in achieving customer satisfaction in this source market.”

Let me suggest once again that this market has huge potential for keeping the Barbados name and brand present in many of our source markets. This workshop is going to be streamed live over the Internet to a worldwide audience. By virtue of this live stream, members of the deaf community worldwide would be focused on Barbados for part if not all of the workshop.

If nothing else, an introduction to Barbados to persons who know little or nothing about the island would be a good idea, but this idea can be further enhanced by getting involved and placing advertising during the live stream which could entice persons to book Barbados.

When business is down companies have to find new and creative ways of attracting new customers. When business situations change companies must change with the time or be left behind. Of course there is always another route, sit back, complain and hope that things improve. I do not subscribe to the latter.

This is not the first time that persons affiliated with disabilities are conducting sensitisation workshops on the island, but with modern technology, the promotional opportunities have increased tremendously.

We are currently operating in a very different business environment and therefore it requires a different approach.

* Tourism is our business, let us play our part.

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