Los Cabos has announced plans to focus on making the destination more accessible for tourists with disabilities following a conference about the future of tourism.
During the conference, called ‘Let’s Rethink Tourism in Los Cabos’, speakers commented on the successful year Los Cabos has had during 2022, making this a critical time to make improvements and plans for the future.
Roberto Jiménez, a member of the Los Cabos Council, touched upon the topic of inclusion and accessibility and recognized that both authorities and local businesses are currently not set up to receive visitors who have disabilities.
However, he also commented that some larger hotels and restaurants have made the necessary adaptions to accommodate disabled tourists. Despite this, roads and transportation generally do not have the capacity or accessibility needed by either locals or tourists with disabilities.
Jiménez said, “I think we have failed slightly in terms of inclusion, and on behalf of these minorities, to give them the necessary infrastructure and accessibility, because they also want to travel”.
“We need to remember that despite their disability, these people also want to travel. We need to think ahead to the tourists that will be coming here, we need to design and obtain new resources so that more people are able to participate and feel included”.
He concluded by saying that Mexico as a whole is far from able to consider itself ready to serve people with disabilities and still requires public policies to be implemented that are inclusive of the many different tourism demographics who plan to travel there.
Another important topic covered in the conference was the development of Los Cabos’ more rural northern areas for tourism. Donna Jeffries Álvarez, who is in charge of the Municipal Tourism Board, explained the importance of promoting and building up the northern part of the municipality.
Despite contributing huge cultural and economic value to Los Cabos, only around 4% of tourists visiting the area seek out ecotourism or visit these rural sites. Programs and budgets have already been created in order to develop and capitalize on this for the future of tourism.
The topic of accessibility in Los Cabos was also widely discussed in June when Los Cabos authorities announced they are partnering with an NGO specializing in developing tourist areas for accessibility. The region still has a long way to go to improve in this area, with improvements to resorts, beach access, transportation, and local walkways all on the list of things that will need to be revamped.
As mentioned, some resorts in Los Cabos have already seen this issue and taken steps to improve. The Dreams Resort and Spa is entirely wheelchair accessible and even provides menus in braille for tourists with impaired vision.
Playa Medano, one of Los Cabos’ most popular beaches, is also one of the few that is wheelchair accessible and safe for swimming, along with Chileno beach, which offers a few wheelchair-friendly tours and excursions.
The good news for visitors with disabilities is that companies such as Get Your Guide have their very own ‘Wheelchair Accessible’ category. In Los Cabos, this includes everything from snorkeling tours to sunset cruises and whale watching.
This suggests that although Los Cabos still needs to take steps to improve, they appear to be far ahead of many destinations in terms of inclusion.
Rodrigo Esponda, Director of FITURCA, previously said, “Accessibility, just like sustainability, is not an option”. This has been seen in recent months with the area trying to improve on its environmental impact.
This has included cracking down on littering, keeping wildlife species safe, and the opening of a number of eco-friendly hotels, such as Hotel el Ganzo and Villa del Farro.