Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 05/02/2013

Ace Altair makes travel easy for tourists with special needs


The PRO-ICAT 2011 Photo Competition on Accessible Tourism

MALAYSIA-based tour operator, Ace Altair Travels, has extended its range of inbound tour services to include travel products catering to the disabled and the elderly.

Known as Travel Assist, the new service is designed to provide travel assistance to people with special needs, including the blind and the hearing-impaired. Services include providing trained personnel; equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, shower chairs and portable commode; accessible transportation; and recommendations of hotels and restaurants that cater to guests with special needs. There will also be help given to identify attractions that can be easily accessed by the disabled.

The company’s managing director, Anthony Leopold, said: “We hope to make accessible tourism a reality in Malaysia.

“Like many cities in Asia and other parts of the world, Malaysia presents a great challenge for travellers with mobility impairments. In many areas of the city, it is virtually impossible to travel without an assistant.

“We make sure that the restaurants and hotels (featured) in our customised tours meet our clients’ needs. We also engage the services of a trained personnel to assist our clients.”

Since hitting the market this month, Travel Assist has won the company a confirmed booking from a wheelchair-bound client from Australia who has booked hotel and transfers for February, as well as an enquiry from Switzerland.

Leopold said: “Accessible tourism is a niche segment and so far, we may be the only agent in Malaysia providing this service. We believe there is a market for this product, which costs 30-40 per cent more than tours for the able bodied.”

Ace Altair Travels is targeting families travelling with disabled or elderly members, and is marketing Travel Assist through its existing network of overseas agents as well as through worldwide associations for the disabled that also promote accessible tourism.

Source: TTG Asia


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