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Kerala received praise from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for its Barrier-Free Tourism Project. The state received a special mention as an “Emerging Global Destination” in the Accessible Destinations Awards 2019.
Thrissur district in Kerala is India’s only destination to implement the project and win the honour. Kerala has been the first state to work as per the UNWTO guidelines on making tourist destinations disabled-friendly.
The award were given by the UNWTO and ONCE Foundation that works with people with disabilities. The conferment was received by Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran at the Spanish capital, Madrid, by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
The awards were given away as part of FITUR Trade Fair, which is a meeting point of tourism professionals the world over and the second-biggest global gathering of travel and tourism professionals.
According to media reports, the work in Thrissur district has been completed in the beaches of Azhikode and Snehatheeram, the hills of Vilangankunnu and the scenic dams in Poomala and Vazhani. Under the ongoing major development projects, the work is being implemented in Chavakkad Beach, Peechi and Thumboormoozhi.
In March last year, Kerala Tourism launched the barrier-free project to make 120 destinations across the state disabled-friendly. Currently, 98 out of them have been made completely disabled friendly in the first phase. The facilities include ramps, accessible toilets, lactation rooms, Braille pamphlets, signage, touch-screen kiosks, audio and sign aids, wheelchairs and walking aids.
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