Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality Logo

SATH Seminars in India

Sep 24, 2008

The SATH seminars conducted in India on Inclusive Tourism



SATH was invited by ASTA India Chapter to hold a series of four seminars in different cities in India.  The goal of these seminars was to sensitize the Indian Travel industry to the potential of the Disability Travel market and to impart the basic knowledge as to how to market to them as well as provide them service. This project was also sponsored by The Indian Ministry of Tourism, Taj Palace Hotels, the Crowne Plaza Hotel New Delhi, CGH Earth Cochin, Park Hotel Chennai and Accessible Barcelona. Air India and Jet Airways sponsored the air tickets.



  The New Delhi Seminar                      Mr. S. Banerjee               The speakers at New Delhi 



SATH had invited Dr. Scott Rains (Rolling Rains Report) and Craig Grimes (Accessible Barcelona) to complete the team with Jani Nayar to speak at these seminars.  The seminars were conducted in four cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin and Chennai.


The seminars were a huge success and well attended with standing room only.

Special mention has to be given to the wonderful job done by the office bearers of ASTA India Chapter to make this project a huge success. We are very proud to inform you that the results were far reaching and much greater than what we had anticipated.


As a direct result of our seminars which was attended by The Union Tourism Secretary Mr. S. Banerjee, Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has made it mandatory for all projects and tourists sites being developed that are being funded by it to incorporate elements of Inclusive Tourism. Please read the press release at the end of this article.




     Mumbai seminar at break        Jani Nayar and Rajeev Kohli    The group in New Delhi


Another major development we achieved was to initiate the rapport between DPOs (Disabled peoples’ organization) and the Travel industry of India going to work towards a more inclusive scenario in the travel sector.


Given below are the points that were included in a memorandum submitted by ASTA India Chapter to the Ministry of Tourism.


  1. There needs to be specialists in handling People with Disabilities at the airports on all shifts. This could be from the airline or the AAI (Airport Authority of India), but we need to have one person who is trained to discuss, ask the right questions and supervise handling of such passengers.
  2. There needs to be officers on duty at all premium monuments that have the same skills.
  3. All hotels need to be mandated to have an accessible room.
  4. All new hotel projects need to incorporate elements of Universal design.
  5. The subject of inclusive tourism needs to be a graded / scoring subject at all Travel and Hotel management schools. This must form a core of all service training of new entrants into the industry to be able to inculcate the culture in the future.
  6. Airlines should offer attendants traveling with the person who needs a personal care attendant, the same discount privileges as is the person with disabilities
  7. Government should allow import of all equipment related to handling people with disabilities in the travel industry at 0% duty. This should include special vehicles as well.


Former Minister of Tourism Kerala


                                          The group in Mumbai





  The lunch in New Delhi


 Airport Authority Manager,Chennai 




Please log on to the blogs by Dr. Scott Rains and Craig Grimes on these seminars




Inclusive Tourism facilities mandatory for projects & tourism sites: MoT
By Krupa Vora | New Delhi

To further augment the tourist arrivals in the country, Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has made it mandatory for all projects and tourists sites being developed that are being funded by it to incorporate elements of Inclusive Tourism, a segment that comprises and services People with Disabilities (PwD). As part of this mandate, all projects funded by MoT from now on will have facilities to cater to PwD like ramps, parking areas, restrooms etc. which will make travel convenient for PwD tourists. However, the Ministry is yet to take a call on developing facilities for tourists with special needs for projects that are already underway.

Speaking to Travel Biz Monitor, Devesh Chaturvedi, Director, MoT said, “It is mandatory for all MoT funded projects to provide facilities for Inclusive Tourism. This will help expand the scope of travellers coming into India.” There will be no separate investment for creating facilities for Inclusive Tourism as they will be part of the blue print of the projects.

“The projects and requirements to address the needs of Inclusive Tourism is very large, however if this is taken up in a phased manner it will work wonders for the tourism industry of India. Also, initially the facilities should be implemented at select destinations like for instance ones in the Golden Triangle, to study the effectiveness. Later the initiative can be implemented at other tourist destinations across the country,” said Rajiv Kohli, President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) India Chapter. Last month ASTA, Society of Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) and MoT India conducted a series of seminars addressing the need for developing Inclusive Tourism in India.