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Published on : Monday, June 27, 2016
Addressing the conference, MTA CEO Mr. Paul Bugeja explained how the Malta Tourism Authority, in collaboration with the Ministry for Tourism, has been continuously working to improve and strengthen accessibility at beaches through various initiatives. At Mellieha Bay, special walkways have been erected leading from the roadside pavement down purposely-constructed ramps all the way to the sea. These ramps were extremely well received and MTA will be adding similar ones at other coastal locations. MTA has also invested in ten special beach wheelchairs, which can be pulled over sand and can also enter into the water, so that all major sandy beaches will have at least one. In addition, two hoists which make it easier for people with mobility problems to access the water from rocky shores or jetties have been installed on a trial basis. Following an evaluation of this initial experience, MTA intends to introduce further facilities at other locations.
Mr. Bugeja pointed out that accessibility is a right that should be offered to everyone, and that MTA considers it an obligation to provide the best possible access for all. He referred to World Health Organisation (WHO) reports stating that 15% of the world’s population is estimated to be living with some form of disability. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is actively engaged in promoting the concept of accessibility for all as a central guiding principle for all tourism strategies.
“The original suggestion that sparked off the introduction of beach facilities of this kind had come from a Facebook post by Ms Kira Muscat, who had commented on how such facilities would make a huge difference for people with mobility problems. MTA took on the advice, researched the possibilities, and followed it up with concrete action. What is good about facilities such as ramps and walkways is that they are not only of benefit to people with permanent disabilities, but also to seniors, families with pushchairs or strollers, and the public in general, both tourists and locals,” concluded Mr. Bugeja.
This initiative was implemented by the Malta Tourism Authority in collaboration with KNPD and various local councils.
Source:- Malta Tourism Authority
Tags: Malta Tourism Authority