‘We’re fighting to do it right’: Accessible tourism brings PCD to Machu Picchu – 08/16/2022

It is possible to discover the city machu Picchuclimb to the top of Kilimanjaro or visit the glaciers of Argentina as a person with a disability (PWD)?

Challenges for a PCD arise daily, even in the city where she lives and dominate routes and paths, but these obstacles take on new proportions during a journey where everything is unknown. That’s why there are a few blogs and travel agencies in Brazil that offer special assistance to people with disabilities, with tips for those who want to travel without adversity.

The writer and blogger Laura Martins, 56, felt the lack of information when she first traveled abroad. At the time, he only found information on a blog that gave tips about tours, but without any details. When she came back from vacation, it came to her mind that she wanted to help people not go through the hardships she had. He then founded the blog Cadeira Voadora, in which he shares extensive experiences with photos and important tips.

“The first thing I have to say is that it is not possible for a person with a disability to travel without problems. But it is possible to reduce a lot,” she said. echo. The most important tip is to plan. “If you plan ahead, you can explore further. In addition to my blog, there are people with disabilities in and outside the country who also share their experiences.”

Accessible tourist university courses

Laura says she doesn’t know of a single place that is fully accessible and that it is necessary to know your rights and take care of your health to be able to handle everything that is coming.

“We face one challenge or the other, so we have to be in good health and above all get to know each other as much as possible so as not to exceed our own limits,” he emphasized.

Culture agent Ida Célia Palermo follows Cadeira Voadora’s tips to travel without perrengue

Image: Personal archive

The blogger says that there are many institutions abroad that do specific work for this target group. Some countries already have university courses in accessible tourism. “Porto, in Portugal, and Barcelona, ​​in Spain, have courses in this area,” she says.

Laura has been in a wheelchair since childhood. At the age of five, he had a rare pathology called transverse myelitis, and the disability in his legs continued as a sequel. It launched Cadeira Voadora in 2011 so that people with disabilities who wanted to travel “don’t have to reinvent the wheel”.

First of all, it must be said that it is not possible for a person with a disability to travel without problems. But it can be reduced a lot. [esses problemas].

Laura Martins, author of the blog Cadeira Voadora

Culture agent Ida Célia Palermo has been following Laura’s tips since the beginning of the project. She says that when she has a destination, she takes a look at the blog to see what facilities and difficulties she may encounter. “To prepare me for more fun than unpleasant surprises. I am in a wheelchair and I think her job is very important,” he said.

No travel agencies

On the tourist board side in Brazil, few companies have paid specific and qualified attention to the PWD audience. The report found only two within the standard of attention cited by Laura Martins, one in Rio de Janeiro and one in Minas Gerais.

Emiliano Parrilli is the owner of the operator Turismo Acessível, from Rio de Janeiro. According to him, the company’s first premise is a personalized service to identify the specific needs of each tourist in order to offer services that allow an accessible journey.

PCD Travel - Personal archive - Personal archive

Some agencies cater to the needs of the PWD public and explore destination accessibility

Image: Personal archive

“Sometimes it happens that a destination or attraction is not accessible. Our starting point is to minimize this difficulty,” said de echo. According to him, the biggest challenge is to find partner companies in the destinations they operate and to address the accessibility of tourist destinations, both in terms of infrastructure (lack of driveways, signage), equipment (hotels or restaurants without accessibility), tourist attractions and training of people they receive for tourists.

“It is very difficult to rate the most accessible destinations in Brazil because there are many aspects to consider. We sell programs to Bonito, Rio de Janeiro, Gramado, Foz do Iguaçu, Salvador, Fernando de Noronha. we tours to visit Machu Picchu, climb to the top of Kilimanjaro or visit Argentine glaciers,” Parrilli said.

Tailored to airlines and hotels

Founder and CEO of Leroy Viagens, Roberta Leroy says she is interested in researching, learning and obtaining the most appropriate package for clients who want or need individual attention. His travel agency has been active in the market for 11 years and focuses on exclusive and personal service.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t pay much attention to these kinds of customers. That’s why we put everything together and then we fight a lot to get everything right

Roberta Leroy, CEO of Leroy Travel

“We try to understand the demand of each customer with taste and preferences in a conversation that can be in person, by video or by phone. From there, we prepare the proposal according to the needs of each customer. We try to understand details, we help when dealing with airlines, local services and hotels,” he explained.

The company coordinates everything with the companies, checks the necessary documentation, arranges the transfer and guidance services necessary for the PCD customer service on site. “We agree on the type of room with the hotel, we try to find out how the hotel is generally accessible, etc.” According to Roberta, the agency’s work doesn’t stop with the preparations: “We get in line and then we fight a lot to get everything right,” she says.

Leave a Comment