Male’ Maldives, 21st December 2022 – Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences has successfully become the world’s first IncluCare Verified resort with the facilities and training to be able to welcome guests with a range of physical and sensory disabilities. IncluCare is a UK-based organisation that offers inclusive and accessible travel training, assessment and accreditation for the tourism industry. One in five people globally have a significant mental or physical disability and global spending power of the disabled market is an estimated USD 10 trillion per year, according to IncluCare.

The announcement about Amilla Maldives, a five-star resort in Baa Atoll, was made on November 28th at a special event held at London’s Great Scotland Yard hotel, which has now become the IncluCare’s first certified hotel. The evening featured 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. Condé Nast Traveller’s sustainability editor, Juliet Kinsman, chaired the panel discussion. IncluCare founder, Richard Thompson, was joined on the panel by Ed Warner, founder of award-winning accessible design specialists, Motion spot, as well as representatives of Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences and Great Scotland Yard Hotel.

Photo Credits | Amilla Maldives

The panel heard how disabled people stay longer, spend more money and often travel with support, yet the vast majority of hotels worldwide are not compliant with existing legislation regarding accessibility and inclusion. The verification of Amilla Maldives and Great Scotland Yard Hotel provides proof that if it can be done on a remote coral island in the Maldives and an historic listed building in one of the world’s oldest and largest cities, it can be done anywhere.

“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.” — Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor, Condé Nast Traveller.

Photo Credits | Amilla Maldives

Amilla Maldives Resort’ cerification by IncluCare has prompted interest from the government of the Maldives, including a visit from the Minister of Gender and Family, Aishath Mohamed Didi, who is also responsible for disability rights. She is now campaigning for legislative change to improve access and inclusion provision for Maldivians.

There are estimated to be at least 2,000 people with disabilities in the Maldives who are currently highly unlikely to be able to get a job. Amilla Maldives is exploring how they could implement changes in the Heart of House (staff area) in order to create an inclusive workplace that would open up job opportunities for disabled people.

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