A seminar on partnerships for sustainable model of disability inclusion in tourism sector

The tourism and hospitality Industry in Bangladesh has taken a significant step towards partnerships with disability organizations and technical training institutes for disability inclusion to make tourism and its supply chain accessible, according to speakers at a seminar held in Dhaka 31 July 2015.

News | 25 August 2015
Organized jointly by the Industry Skill Council for Tourism Hospitality sector and Le Meridien Dhaka with the support of ILO, Canada and Government of Bangladesh, the seminar highlighted the benefits of accessible tourism for tourists and industry alike..

Speaking at the event, Mr. Rashed Khan Menon M.P. Hon’ble Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism expressed his satisfaction that the tourism and hospitality sector had made efforts to become more disabled friendly and inclusive.

Mr. Aswani Nayar General Manager, Le Meridien Dhaka described how Starwood Hotel & Resorts promotes disability inclusion globally. He reiterated that Le Meridien Dhaka will act as a pioneer by promoting disability inclusion in Bangladesh and declared that his organization would employ five disabled people as an initial step. These disabled persons would be trained by the Industry Skill Council. Following Le Meridien’s assurance for employment of skilled persons with disability, other hotel owners also promised the number of disable persons they would be employing. To provide such skilled persons with disability, ILO and ISC, Tourism, will be training numbers of disable persons in partnerships with the government and private training institutes to meet the demands of these hotels.

In his closing remarks ILO’s Kishore Kumar Singh emphasized the importance of a strategic approach to partnerships among disability organizations, industry and skills training organizations to ensure the sustainability of a disability-inclusive tourism sector.

Also taking part in the event were Mr. Khorshed Alam Chowdhury, Secretary of the Ministry for Civil Aviation and Tourism; Mr. Srinivas B Reddy, Country Director, ILO Bangladesh; Mr. A.B.M. Khorshed Alam, Chief Executive officer (Additional Secretary), National Skill Development Council; Mr. Akhteruzzaman Khan Kabir, Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh Tourism Board; Mr. Cezar Dragutan, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO Bangladesh, Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Secretary General, Bangladesh Employers Federation; and Mr Mukhit Khan Chairman, National Committee for Workers Education.

Promoting access for persons with disabilities to skills and jobs is a key priority of the ILO and the government as well as an important area of reform in Bangladesh’s skills development system. ILO’s Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity Project, funded by Canada, has undertaken a series of steps in the last twelve months to promote disability inclusion, both on the skills demand (industry) side and supply (training institutions and potential TVET candidates) side. For more see here.