Kochi greets the end of the year with its festive best—there’s the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival, sparkly stars strung up for Christmas, and the much-awaited Kochi-Muziris Biennale of contemporary art. In the last quarter of the year, Kerala Tourism will also be working to make the state’s major tourist spots accessible to travellers with special needs. They hope to complete this initiative by December 3, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
Fort Kochi, tourist magnet and home to the art biennale, is the first on the list. It will have facilities for travellers with visual, hearing, mobility, and cognitive impairments, Kerala minister for tourism A.C. Moideen told The Hindu. Visitors will be able to enjoy the sunset over the iconic Chinese nets in the backwaters, from viewing points equipped with ramps, slip-resistant tiles, handrails, seating, and accessible restrooms. Food booths will be located every 30m of the promenade.
At other major state attractions, the report said, ramps, wheelchair lifts, and Braille signs will be installed, and assistance centres set up with crutches and electric wheelchairs. Accessible restrooms will be provided in hotels and houseboats. Guides and personnel at information kiosks will be trained in sign language. Kerala Tourism has put forward the move in keeping with the World Tourism Organization’s goal of accessible tourism for all—a great note to begin a new year.