Hotels must consider facilitating the needs of those living with disabilities as this will help the bottom line of the hospitality industry, a hotelier has said.
Pride Inn Managing Director, Mr. Hasnain Noorani said the industry must scale up the idea that catering to the needs of a wider range of disabilities will boost its clientele.
The Pride Inn MD said it is no longer enough for hotels to boast wonderful locations or luxurious lodgings, as this no longer guarantees bookings at this age and time. “… hoteliers ought to ensure that needs of the disabled are well taken care of by making sure that there are available amenities meant to make them more comfortable,” said Mr. Hasnain
He added that understanding the specific needs of guests with disabilities and providing appropriate support during their stay is key.
The hotel’s Nairobi Region General Manager Jackton Amutala said that at its Pride Inn Raphta in Nairobi, at least 5 rooms are easily accessible to the physically challenged. “… we have ensured that we have special rooms with special needs. This means rooms on the ground floor, with wider doorways, to the bedroom, bathrooms with grab rails, special toilets and handwash basins and other features that make the room disabled friendly”
Mr. Jackton also said that when serving clients living with disabilities, it’s important to remember that every detail matters. “Housekeeping staff should be aware that wheelchair-using guests often require extra towels and Food and Beverage (F&B) staff need to understand spacing between tables and the need to provide help with menus for guests who have visual or hearing disabilities.”
The rights of disabled people are enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution, and legislation requires that public buildings and other places be accessible to everyone.
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According to the United Nations, 15% of the world’s population – or about one billion people are living with a disability and, by 2020, this number is expected to rise to 1.2 billion, (about 20% of the global population), in part due to an ageing population.