A new web portal has just been launched with the aim of providing information to help disadvantaged people enjoy a holiday in the Maltese Islands. The website, www.accessibletourismmalta.eu, will be constantly updated with new information underscoring accessible resources which disabled or elderly tourists may make use of to help mitigate the challenges of travelling. The website is part of “Accessible Culture For All”, a project co-financed by the EU which aims to raise awareness about social tourism and identify ways how to help the tourism industry to increase competitiveness by targeting new markets.
The project incorporates the Malta Tourism Authority, the National Commission People with Disabilities and Finnish and Croatian partners. Addressing a conference, Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella said that social tourism has huge potential since, through investment, travel operators who tap into the field would be able to reach new markets such as the elderly, the disabled and low income families. It would also help promote off-season tourism. “It is the Government’s priority to work with stakeholders to enable accessibility.” A national audit was also carried out by the architectural firm Doric Studio to help identify the gaps between the requirements of people with disabilities and the tourism product on offer. The results, the Minister added, will help formulate a model to feed the interest of the private sector and generate a handholding process supported by the MTA for establishments prepared to tailor their service for the disabled.