The Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday (12 October) launched instructor training to support divers with special needs in collaboration with Atoll’s World and Poseidon Handicap Scuba Adventures (PHSA USA).
The programme will be conducted with dive centers across the country to ensure that differently-abled tourists can enjoy the Maldives to the fullest. The programme, which seeks support from instructors and other professionals to a whole new segment of the travel community, includes ocean literacy and sessions on sustainable tourism as well.
“Education and information of the benefits of health and social well-being of recreational scuba diving is important to assist the differently-abled community to join in accessible activities while enjoying the ocean,” said Mark Rausch CEO of PHSA.
“We conduct an intense course to equip the divers to get trained with theory classes and open water modules followed by examinations to certify them to welcome differently-abled persons to diving.”
The training sessions will be conducted at Adaaran resorts for certified scuba divers, who will be certified to train others.
Bassam Adam, the Managing Director of Atolls World and Authentica 360, said: “The Atolls World has always been a leader in reaching out to community causes which drive not only sustainable development but accessibility in tourism industry. All stake holders in the industry need to work together to make Maldives more inclusive.”
The launching ceremony, held at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo resort, was attended by Tourism Minster Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Environment and Technology Aminath Shauna, Minister of Higher Education Dr Ibrahim Hassan along with Minister of State for Gender, Family and Social Services Ifham Hussain. Members of the Maldives Alliance of Dive Operators and executives from travel associations such as MATI, NBAM, NGAM, MATATO and ATA was present at the event.
The tourism ministry will be putting in all efforts to make Maldives an inclusive and accessible destination for all, Minister Mausoom said.
Founded in 1992, Poseidon Handicap Scuba Adventures is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the physical and social well being of people with disabilities. Taught according to the Handicap Scuba Association guidelines, its specialised educational programs include Instructor Training Course (ITC), Dive Buddy Program and Open Water Certification.