National win for accessibility in Victoria's parks
Saturday 24 February, 2018
Advances in accessibility within Victoria’s parks have received national recognition at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards last night with Parks Victoria winning an award for providing accessible nature based tourism experiences for people of all ages and levels of ability in the Specialised Tourism Category.
Parks Victoria became a finalist after winning an award at the Victorian Tourism Awards in November last year.
Just under one in five of Australians have a disability and with a growing and ageing population, demand for accessible tourism destinations is steadily rising.
The award recognises Parks Victoria’s accessibility initiatives over the past year including:
- Establishing the internationally award winning Changing Places facility for visitors with severe physical disabilities at Arthurs Seat State Park.
- Creating accessible visitor accommodation options at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park.
- A new Grampians National Park All Abilities Walking Track and TrailRider Guide, supported by all terrain wheelchairs and the Sherpa volunteer program provided by the park
- Online resources for families visiting Serendip Sanctuary and Brimbank Park with children on the autism spectrum and other disabilities.
Visitation by people with disabilities make a significant contribution to the Victorian visitor economy.
A new Disability Action Plan will also ensure Parks Victoria continues to build upon the achievements and continues to make parks more accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities.
For more information on accessibility in Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways visit www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963.
The following quotes are attributable to Parks Victoria Chief Executive Officer Matthew Jackson:
“We are so thrilled to be recognised with a national award for accessibility in parks. Parks Victoria is the state’s largest nature based tourism provider and we want our parks to be a destination of choice for visitors with disabilities.
“There is an abundance of research which shows getting into nature is good for you. We are committed to ensuring we have healthy parks where everyone can experience the health and social benefits that come from connecting with nature.”
“It is really important that visitors with disabilities can access the same experiences in nature that many of us often take for granted. That’s why we’ve been working hard to make our parks more accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities.”
Media enquiriesJarred Parsons
0407 509 938
Parks Victoria media centre