Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences has become the world’s first IncluCare-certified resort. It is well-equipped with the facilities and training necessary to accommodate guests with a range of physical and sensory disabilities.
IncluCare is a U.K.-based organization that offers inclusive and accessible travel training, assessment and accreditation for the tourism industry. Globally, one in five people have a significant mental or physical disability. According to IncluCare, global spending power of the disabled market is approximately $10 trillion per year.
The announcement about Amilla Maldives in Baa Atoll was made recently at an event held at London’s Great Scotland Yard by Hyatt. The evening included a panel discussion around how travel and hospitality professionals can help drive accessibility and inclusion to the top of the agenda for the travel and media industries. Juliet Kinsman, sustainability editor of Condé Nast Traveller, chaired the panel discussion. IncluCare founder, Richard Thompson, was joined on the panel by Ed Warner, founder of accessible design specialists, Motionspot, along with representatives of Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences, and Great Scotland Yard Hotel.
The panel heard how persons with disabilities stay longer, spend more money and often travel with support, yet the majority of hotels worldwide are not compliant with existing legislation regarding accessibility and inclusion. The verification of Amilla Maldives and Great Scotland Yard Hotel is proof that if it can be done on a remote coral island in the Maldives and a historical building in one of the world’s largest cities, it can be done anywhere.
Kinsman said: “In a world awash with certifications, and hundreds in the travel sector alone, IncluCare stands for a really significant seal of approval—verified accessibility and inclusivity. We still have a long way to go when it comes to the hotel industry offering experiences that everyone can book, whatever their abilities, and this sets a really important benchmark in terms of sustainability and responsibility which I hope will inspire more hotels to do the right thing when it comes to considering all the needs of every potential guest.”
Amilla Maldives Resort’ certification by IncluCare has prompted interest from the government of the Maldives, including a visit from Aishath Mohamed Didi, the minister of gender and family, who is also responsible for disability rights. She is now campaigning for legislative change to improve access and inclusion provision for Maldivians.
On an estimate, there are at least 2,000 people with disabilities in the Maldives who are highly unlikely to be able to get a job. Amilla Maldives is exploring how it can implement changes in the staff area in order to create an inclusive workplace that would open up job opportunities for persons with disabilities.