TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first group of visitors with disabilities arrived in Hualien on Thursday (Nov. 25) as part of the eastern county’s effort to promote accessible travel.
The 10-member group, which includes both the physically challenged and their companions, boarded a train from Taipei to Hualien for a two-day tour arranged by Duofu Travel Service Co. The company is the first of its kind in Taiwan to provide services for tourists who are seniors, wheelchair users, or people with special needs.
The itinerary of the tour includes the Mountain-Moon Bridge of Taroko National Park, Chisingtan Scenic Area, and Liyu Lake. These are some of the attractions that boast facilities, restaurants, and accommodations with universal design, CNA quoted Hualien Tourism Department Director Chang Chih-hsiang (張志翔) as saying.
According to Chang, feedback will be collected from the visitors as a reference to plan itineraries for those with disabilities. This is part of Hualien’s initiative to ensure the equal rights of travelers.
To foster an inclusive environment, the county government will invest resources into training “accessibility butlers” to facilitate traveling with disabilities. Work is also underway to examine the county’s accessibility resources, with relevant information expected in March.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railways Administration has promised to improve its rail systems, for example by reducing platform gaps and increasing wheelchair seats, to optimize transportation services that cater to all.
Accessibility facilities on Taiwan Railways systems. (Taiwan Railways Administration photos)