Posted on October 03, 2017

Supporting an agenda for inclusive tourism, Sasol unveiled its Understand Accessibility programme in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) with the inclusion of 9-dimensional virtual reality (9-D VR) chairs at the official World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations hosted in Doha last week.

Organised by the UNWTO and QTA, WTD brought together representatives from tourism authorities and Ministries around the world to explore tourism’s contribution to countries’ long-term development and sustainable growth. Inclusive tourism is one of the key pillars of sustainable tourism identified by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Including travelers facing accessibility issues in all forms will continue to open up the space for discovery, growth, and understanding, while promoting peaceful economic development around the world.

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Understand Accessibility is a programme developed as part of Accessible Qatar, a long-standing corporate social responsibility initiative of Sasol, to find solutions and raise awareness of the accessibility challenges faced by the disabled community. Understand Accessibility will work in partnership with the Qatar Tourism Authority to place the immersive 9-D VR chairs at events, exhibitions, and venues around the country, helping people and decision makers to understand and experience the accessibility challenges faced by people with disabilities. The programme incorporates a first-hand experience of 9-D VR technology movies with sounds, seat movement and ambient special effects, showing individuals with different disabilities experiencing the obstacles and restrictions of an un-accessible venue versus an accessible one.

Phinda Vilakazi, President of GTL Ventures at Sasol commented saying, “Understand Accessibility programme leverages cutting-edge technology to let people truly understand accessibility challenges. Today, thanks to Sasol’s partnership with QTA and with other Ministries and institutions in Qatar, we have been able to promote accessibility at hotels and tourist attractions across the country. Inclusive tourism is a pillar for sustainability in tourism and we are very pleased to showcase the Understand Accessibility programme at the WTD official celebrations. In line with the National Vision 2030, Sasol will continue to promote accessibility under the Accessible Qatar initiative with its partners, benefiting all members of society.”

Sasol invites WTD 2017 delegates 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgSasol has conducted accessibility audits at over 100 locations around the country, ranging from tourism locations to public venues. Through the Accessible Qatar initiative, hundreds of disabled individuals have benefited from the accessible information available free on the application and website. Audited venues have benefited as well from receiving the detailed accessibility report offered by Accessible Qatar, and some have already made the necessary modifications in support of accessibility. QTA works to ensure that tourism and hotel establishments in Qatar operate at the highest standards. As part of its mandate to regulate the tourism sector, a hotel classification system was launched in January 2016, paving the way for a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and accessible hospitality sector. This system, which includes extensive accessibility criteria, holds developers, owners, management and operators accountable for the property’s classification.

Accessible Qatar is an award-winning application and website, the first of its kind in the region, which provides the disabled community instant and reliable information about the accessibility of public and touristic locations in Qatar. Combining expertly-audited data with user-submitted reviews and ratings, Accessible Qatar gives the disabled community and tourists the confidence to visit different accessible destinations. Sasol heads several CSR initiatives in Qatar such as: Definitely Able, Accessible Qatar, Qatar e-Nature and the Health Park with Salem and Sarah. Their aim is to benefit and generate a positive impact in the local society. For more information, please visit: www.enature.qa; www.definitelyable.com; www.accessibleqatar.com.

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