Sri Lankan’s new hotel classification system, which came into place recently, has certain criteria addressing some aspects of making tourism inclusive for all. The hotel classification system has incorporated two aspects of facilities for guests with restricted ability and public toilets, as minimum requirements for each category of the hotels. ’Compliance with the Design Standards of the Accessibility Regulations No. 1 of 2006’ is listed under facilities for guests with restricted ability. Under the availability of public toilets, it mentions “at least one toilet with facilities for differently able or wheelchair users shall be available”. In addition, under the non-mandatory requirements for any star categories of tourist hotels, “Wheelchairs and stretchers shall be available for use in case of an emergency”
In addition, the National Policy on Disability for Sri Lanka of the year 2003 highlights the need for having “accessible tourism” under its sectoral policies and strategies on “Access to the Built Environment and Accessible Tourism”. It aims at improving accessibility to all visitors (both local and foreign) who have a disability. Apart from the need for including the necessary guidelines for new hotels, it mentions the need to: (a) incorporate accessibility guidelines during refurbishments and reconstructions, (b) making major tourist sites and attractions accessible according to accessibility guidelines, and (c) making available the information about accessible hotels and tourist sites to travel agencies (both local and international) and on the internet.
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