MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND TOURISM
This year Malawi joined United Nations World Tourism Organisations (UNWTO) member states worldwide in commemorating World Tourism Day and National Tourism Month under the theme “Tourism for all promoting universal accessibility”.
In line with this theme, the Malawi Disability Act of 2012 and the Tourism and Hotels Act CAP 50:01, requires that all operators in the Tourism sector, potential investors and providers of tourism support infrastructure and services, such as transport systems, communication, shopping centres, airlines to ensure that their facilities and services are accessible to all.
Section 4(1) of the Tourism and Hotels Act, under Tourism and Hotels (Minimum Standards) Regulations Part II (Adaptability and Suitability of Hotel premises) provides that “All tourism premises shall …provide facilities for people with physical disabilities.”
Further, section 8 of the Disability Act No 8 of 2012 provides that “…Government shall take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the physical environment, transportation, information and communication technologies and systems, and other facilities and services available or provided to the public….” This entails that all tourism establishments, support facilities and infrastructure should meet the following requirements:
- All Tourism enterprises should ensure that their facilities and services are physically and architecturally adapted to take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities, children and the elderly.
- Raise awareness and provide appropriate training to their staff on accessibility and needs of all including children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
In this regard, all new developers in the tourism and support sector that are used by tourists such as airlines, shopping facilities, banking institutions, recreation centres are required to ensure that the facilities follow universal designs and are barrier free and accessible to all people with disabilities including children and the elderly.
Please note that during this year’s annual inspections for 2017 Tourism Licencing of Tourist facilities and establishments, the Ministry will ensure that only those units that are compliant with the Disability Act and Tourism and Hotels Acts are licenced.
Also note that with immediate effect, all new tourism development plans and drawings submitted to the Ministry for approval, should ensure that they take into account all aspects of accessibility for all including children, the elderly and persons with disabilities
Elsie M. Tembo
CHIEF DIRECTOR FOR TOURISM
For: SECRETARY FOR INDUSTRY, TRADE AND TOURISM
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