In the tourism industry, the needs of the disabled and elderly are often overlooked, resulting in many disabled or elderly travelers being apprehensive about the notion of traveling due to the inconvenience it may incur. I strongly believe that every individual should be able to fulfill the dream of travelling with freedom and that we should strive to ensure that accessibility would no longer be a barrier for the disabled or the elderly.
My wholehearted support goes out to the efforts of Beautiful Gate Foundation to highlight the underdeveloped sector of accessible tourism through this conference. I am confident that this conference, with the theme “Accessible Tourism Promotes National Development” will wield significant impact and stimulate discussion regarding the possibility of expanding accessible tourism in Selangor in order to enhance the competiveness of our tourist attractions.
Economically speaking, this particular concept of tourism is still relatively new in South East Asia; thus, I hope that we can capitalize on this in order to gain a competitive advantage over our neighbors and transition into one of the leading providers of accessible tourism. Many studies have shown that the demand of services by the disabled and elderly have not been fully met and there is a sizable market yet to be explored; hence, I am optimistic about the potential returns for the state should this concept be successfully adopted in Selangor.
Finally, I would like to thank Beautiful Gate Foundation along with International Asia Pacific, Japan International Cooperate Agency, and the 16 disabilities-related NGOs for coming together to organize this truly meaningful event. I look forward to learning about the various sustainable policies and measures the state can implement to make Selangor a state accessible to all.