Seoul City has opened a tourism center for the physically challenged and the elderly to assist their travel throughout the country. Under the slogan of "Barrier-free tour city plan," the Seoul Danurim Accessible Tourism Center opened on Tuesday in cooperation with Seoul Tourism Organization.
The center is a part of the city government's efforts to provide more travel opportunities across the country for people with physical disabilities. With the increasing number of elderly and disabled citizens in Seoul, their travel demands have also picked up in recent years. According to the city, around 1.4 million people aged over 65 and some 390,000 disabled people were living in Seoul in 2018. A survey released by the Korea Consumer Agency in 2015 showed 87.4 percent of the nation's disabled people experienced inconvenience while traveling in the country mainly because of transportation accessibility problems, such as a lack of facilities for people in wheelchairs as well as a shortage of tour programs designed for wheelchair users.
The city government said although the conditions of daily transportation and accommodation have improved significantly, information and accessibility to facilities such as hotels and restaurants are still insufficient for people with mobility difficulties. In response to those citizens' demands for convenient tourism, the Danurim tour center provides one-stop services, from providing facilities information, drawing up travel plans and making reservations for accommodations and tourist destinations. The center also has spaces where visitors can search for travel information with computers or booklets, as well as offering coin lockers and wheelchairs. The center also offers the Danurim city tour bus equipped with a wheelchair lift. People can make reservations for the bus at seouldanurim.net.
"By opening the Danurim center, we can support those who find travel difficult, including the elderly and the disabled, who have had high demand for tours but few opportunities," Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a statement. "We'll make efforts to make Seoul more accessible to everybody."