Tourism program teaches ways to reach the hearing impaired

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Participants in a three-month program to reach hearing-impaired tourists receive their diplomas. Photo: Universidad Tecnológica del Sur

Mérida, Yucatán — The tourism industry in Yucatán is showing signs of being more welcoming to tourists who are hearing impaired.

Thirty-eight people, including tourism students from the Universidad Tecnológica del Sur, travel agents, tourist guides and entrepreneurs, received diplomas for completing sign language classes aimed at reaching visitors.

The three-month course was organized  by Canaco Mérida, the business chamber; in coordination with the state social service agency, DIF; and the ministry of tourism.

The tourism studies department at the Universidad Tecnológica del Sur kicks off its school year. Photo: Universidad Tecnológica del Sur

At a ceremony at Canaco’s headquarters, Jorge Romero Herrera, a state tourism official, congratulated the graduates.

Thanking the university for grooming generations of tourism professionals, he urged the administration to integrate sign language into its curriculum.

For his part, Juan José Abraham Dáguer, head of the business chamber, said that working together is the way to generate change.

But, he added, there is still work to be done, and schools should continue training to accommodate other disabilities.

Limber Sosa Lara, head of the DIF, called inclusive tourism a smart strategy, since tourism is one of the state’s economic engines.

Addressing tourists with impaired eyesight is the next challenge for the industry, she said.

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