Tourism Sarnia Lambton officials want to be on the forefront of an emerging market – accessible tourism.
TSL General Manager Marlene Wood recently told Lambton County councilors 2.072 million people came to the area according to statistics from 2011. Most of those, about 1.3 million were Canadians, many from southwestern Ontario.
Most – 463,000 – come for outdoor and sporting activities while nearly 160,000 come for cultural experiences including theatre.
But Wood says TSL is working with local community leaders to take the lead on something called accessible tourism. “Accessible tourism is a huge opportunity…we have to make sure we’re ready to engage with people with disabilities.”
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper thinks it is a great idea. His wife is wheelchair dependent and was disappointed to see that TSL’s tourism guide did not have “one accessibility sticker…where I could take my wife.
“I think you missed the boat…it could be incorporated into your travel guide.”
Wood agrees saying business will be given a list to describe what sort of services they have for people with disabilities and they could be listed in future guides. But she adds, “We’re in the very early stages of planning.”