New guide helps travelers with disabilities explore Chile

In an effort to share the country with all kinds of visitors, Chile has created a new guide to the best places to stay for disabled travelers.

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Chile is home to some of the most amazing national parks, cultural hubs, and unique destinations in the world. It is no wonder people from all over the globe — and the nation’s residents themselves — plan their holidays here. Now the country’s tourism board and services for the disabled have teamed up to help make all that Chile has to offer more available to all visitors, including those with disabilities.

Chile’s National Tourism Service (Sernatur) and the National Disabilities Service (Senadis) have put together a comprehensive guide to the country’s best handicap-accessible hotels and lodging, including a total of 115 places that have adopted various measures to make them more welcoming to disabled visitors.

The guide, organized by region, looks at the accessibility of each site through five criteria — parking, rooms, bathrooms, entrances and the accessibility of common areas. This current version is only the beginning however, as Sernatur and Senadis hope to add to the guide as more places improve their spaces and services.

As María Ximena Rivas Asenjo —  the National Director for Senadis —  explained, the goal of making Chile more accessible to national and foreign travelers is an ongoing effort by everyone in the tourism sector.

“This first guide to accessible tourist destinations facilitates access to tourism for people with disabilities, serves as a point of reference that can help them find spaces according to their needs,” Rivas said. “Inclusion is a task for everyone and the relaxation and entertainment of people with disabilities and their families should be a consideration.”

Sylvie Rey, manager of Hotel Atton in the Vitacura district of Santiago, said she is excited to be included in the new guide and that she believes the beauty of Chile should be accessible to all.

“For Atton all our guests are equally important, which is why we offer accessible elements as part of the mission of the hotel to provide the equipment and services that a traveler needs,” Rey said.  “It is important that the Chilean hotel industry meet the highest international standards and ensure that all our guests feel welcome and respected.”