Saudi Tourism Calls for Boycott of Tourist Spots Inaccessible to Disabled Visitors

Skift Take

The boycott is about raising awareness of the issue and of the businesses that are and are not doing a good job catering to all tourists. More tourism organizations should kickstart such programs.

— Samantha Shankman

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has called on domestic tourists to boycott hotels, apartments and recreational facilities not fully equipped with facilities for people with disabilities.

“I will not enter a hotel or any other tourist establishment that does not have special arrangements in place to facilitate the movement of people with disabilities,” said Prince Salman.

He was speaking during a function on Tuesday to mark an initiative of a group of young people with disabilities to ease traffic and parking in front of a popular food chain in Jeddah.

The Mawaqef service was launched recently by Safar Al-Haqabani as part of a campaign called “Please Park it Right” in collaboration with Al-Baik restaurant and the Traffic Administration in Jeddah.

The Mawaqef program is an awareness drive by eight young people with disabilities under Al-Haqabani’s leadership. The program aims to promote order on crowded roads close to food chain outlets. Al-Haqabani is willing to extend his team’s services to more branches of the chain and other commercial establishments.

Prince Sultan commended Al-Haqabani for his initiative despite his physical challenges and handed the Mawaqef team the responsibility to regulate parking at all SCTA events.

He said young people like Al-Haqabani should be supported in their efforts to make life easier for people with disabilities.

Amin Abdo, a young man with a physical disability who participated in the campaign, praised members of the public for not parking in the spots allocated for people like him.

The prince also announced that all tourist and heritage sites would soon provide ease of access for people with disabilities. The SCTA has also launched several projects to find jobs for this group of people, he said.

(c)2014 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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