First of all, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to
Beautiful Gate Foundation, organisers of this event with the theme
Accessible Tourism Promotes National Development. It is with great
pride to know that this event, the first of its kind in Malaysia, is
being held in Selangor.

Too often, in developing societies such as ours, accessibility issues
are not given the priority it deserves. It is no different in the
tourism industry, where the needs of the disabled are often ignored.

This event is a reminder to all that ensuring accessibility to all
shouldn’t only be regarded as a social responsibility, but also an
economic opportunity. Too often, the lack of accessibility
infrastructure and services has meant the exclusion of the disabled
community to our tourism attractions. Hopefully this will start to
change once the tourism industry, especially in Selangor, start to tap
into this under-appreciated market.

So once again, I would like to thank the Beautiful Gate Foundation,
along with International Asia Pacific, Japan International Cooperate
Agency and the 16 disabilities-related NGOs for putting together this
important event. I hope it will be a fruitful and successful one for
all involved.

YB Elizabeth Wong, Selangor Exco for Tourism,Consumer Affairs and Environment