Enjoying sights and sounds of Hornbill festivity impossible for PwDs: Nakhro
KOHIMA, DECEMBER 2: Over 33 thousand visitors have thronged the picturesque Naga Heritage Village at Kisama to witness the first two days of the 10-day long Hornbill Festival, an annual tourism promotional event of the Nagaland Government.
Altogether 33502 visitors which include 24224 locals, 8539 domestic tourists and 739 foreign tourists have witnessed the first two days of cultural regale at Kisama, stated the statistics of the Tourism Department.
Today the footfall was 17056 while there were 16446 visitors yesterday, the statistics maintained.
Meanwhile, Nagaland State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Diethono Nakhro has remarked that moving around and enjoying the sights and sounds of the festivity like everyone else is doing will be impossible for the PwDs due to inaccessibility of the environment.
She said this while speaking at the inaugural function of the Disability Pride Fair 2023 as part of the International Day of PwDs organised by the Commission and Social Welfare Department at the Bamboo Hall of Kisama today.
Given that the Disability Day falls on December 3, it takes place during our Hornbill Festival every year, she said.
“We’re holding our event right here at Kisama in the middle of all the activity. But sadly, for many of us, our Hornbill Festival experience will end in and around this venue which our office has
tried to make as accessible as possible with our limited funds, since there is no accessibility or disability budget available anywhere.
Moving around and enjoying the sights and sounds of the festivity like everyone else is doing will be impossible for many due to inaccessibility of the environment”, she said.
Pointing that the world is now turning to Accessible Tourism and investing in making tourism inclusive and accessible to all, she said as we continue to push forward in making Nagaland a top tourist destination, we cannot afford to keep ignoring the aspect of Accessible and Inclusive Tourism, which is all about making travel and tourism destinations, products, services, and information suitable for all those who have particular accessibility needs – and this does not only mean the disabled community, it includes the elderly and travellers with young children.
Accessibility benefits everyone, not only the disabled community, she said.
She pointed out that making tourism accessible and inclusive is not only a social responsibility ~ it is also a compelling business case.
There is a growing body of evidence showing that people with disabilities and their support ecosystem make up a significant proportion of the overall global tourism market, she said, adding that in our current situation, there is no scope for the State to welcome disabled tourists from outside the State, outside the country.
“We are missing out on this huge business opportunity because we do not care to address the need to make our tourism responsible, accessible, and inclusive”, she said.
Stating that Nagaland needs to wake up as disability inclusion is a smart business strategy, the PwDs Commissioner hoped this will be noted and taken seriously.
(Page News Service)