People with disabilities (PWDs) as well as the elderly who have mobility impairment have the same interests and desires to travel just as the rest of the population. There is “a Market of Millions” of this category of the population who would readily go for tours and travel packages if the products, services, destinations are adequately adapted to their needs. This market has been emerging in many parts of the world especially in the developed countries for at least a decade now; but the tourism industry in the rest of the world has yet to focus on this group as a market.

Beautiful Gate Foundation for The Disabled, together with Disabled People International Asia Pacific, JICA Malaysia and 16 disabilities related NGOs are proud to organize the Pro-ICAT Event with the theme “Accessible Tourism Promotes National Development” in conjunction with International Day of Disabled Persons 2011. Activities and programs of the event are carefully designed to disseminate practical knowledge and information on accessible tourism, provide accessible entertaining activities and related information to the participants and at the same time create awareness towards Accessible Tourism and a Barrier-free Society to the public.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has applied to Malaysia since 2008. Recognizing the importance of accessibility in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedom is a common vision of the international society.

It is a first of its kind of event organized in Malaysia. We hope that the event would achieve due recognition and also encourage policies and actions to promote Accessible Tourism for all. This international event will allow us to better understand the latest improvement and best practices and provide fresh insight into the future development of our tourism systems. Your participation will greatly help to bring forward this important agenda in Asia and around the world.

We would like to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Bureau and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, for their support of the event. We are grateful to the international and local speakers for sharing their expertise, knowledge and perspectives and we also wish to express our utmost appreciation to all delegates for their interest and support for the event.

Executive Director, Beautiful Gate foundation for the Disabled
Sia Siew Chin A.M.W