Development of facilities for special needs tourists at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
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The main objective of this research study was developing facilities for special needs tourists. The study was carried out at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. It was based on both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. Data was collected from 50 respondents who included tourists, tour operators, disabled persons, the abled bodied as well as officials from UWEC and NUDIPU. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview guide and observation. The data was later analyzed using the most suitable methods of data analysis, that is to say; quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. The study findings were presented in line with the study objectives which were: To identify facilities needed by special needs tourists and how they can be developed at UWEC, identify factors hindering the provision of these facilities to special needs tourists at UWEC and to assess problems faced by special needs tourists in accessing tourism activities at UWEC. The findings of the study revealed that the facilities needed by special needs tourists range from accommodation facilities with spacious rooms and large doors, specially designed bathrooms, walk ways and grabs, wheelchairs for the wheelchair bound, ramps for both the wheelchair users and blind as well as specially trained guides and other human power to assist the disabled tourists. The study further revealed that ignorance about the disability market, limited info and inadequate financial capital played a major role in hindering the provision of the above-mentioned facilities to disabled tourists, while financial constraints and lack of facilities to cater for their needs ranked highly in the problems faced by disabled tourists in accessing tourism activities. The study therefore recommended that government of Uganda should collaborate with the tour operators, destination owners as well as disability organizations to avail the info needed on what facilities to develop, create awareness about the disability market and hence get rid of the disability market ignorance and make tourism accessible to all persons with disabilities.