SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 30, 2019 — The Seoul Danurim Tourist Center will open to provide the disabled and elderly with comprehensive no-barrier tourism services in one place. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization announced that they will hold an opening ceremony of the Center in Inui-dong, Jongno-gu, on April 30.
As of the end of 2018, the population of disabled people and elderly people aged 65 or older living in Seoul reached 1.8 million (the disabled 390,000 and the elderly 1.41 million). Accordingly, their demand for tourism has been gradually increasing. Until now, however, it has not been easy for them to access information or services on accessible tourism that are needed for them to travel at their convenience.
According to a survey by the Korea Consumer Agency, 87.4 percent of the physically handicapped responded that they experience inconveniences when traveling in Korea. Globally, barrier-free tourism has been emerging as a new market due to the increase in the number of disabled and elderly people.
Based on the master plan for barrier-free tourism infrastructure development made in 2017, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization have made continuous efforts to improve physical environments, accessibility to information and social awareness for “tourism for all.” The Seoul Danurim Tourist Center is expected to meet the needs of “vulnerable tourists,” providing a universal tourism environment for them to enjoy traveling anytime, anywhere. The Center will play a key role to make Seoul a convenient city for anyone to travel.
The Seoul Danurim Tourist Center consists of spaces to get tourism information; to retrieve related date and information; to have a relax; and to use convenient services, such as wheelchairs and coin lockers. Its Website (https://www.seouldanurim.net) provides one-stop services, such as customized tourism counseling and reservation for tourism facilities, as well as barrier-free tourism information. In addition, it operates Seoul City Tour Bus equipped with a wheelchair lift.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is committed to expanding the base of barrier-free tourism by establishing cooperative relationships with domestic and international organizations and developing a manual to improve awareness of people who work in the tourism industry.
Those who use the wheelchair lift-equipped Seoul City Tour Bus, named “Seoul Danurim Tour Bus,” can make a reservation on the Center’s Website in advance from late May.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon said, “With the opening of the Seoul Danurim Tourist Center, we now can support travel activities of disabled and elderly people who have much desires for travelling than anyone else does yet have relatively lower chance to do so. We will make a bid to make Seoul a city where anyone can travel without difficulties, so that more and more tourists visit Seoul and the citizens get much happier.”