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Efforts of JALPAK
Our commitment to society as part of the JAL Group
In August 2018, the JAL Group committed itself to promoting improved accessibility in a variety of situations so that all customers can travel free from worry. The aim is to create a society where everyone can enjoy traveling, sports, and culture.
In December 2019, JAL joined The Valuable 500, a global activity aimed at creating a society where people with disabilities can demonstrate their diverse value.
JALPAK established a new department in April 2019 to promote accessible tourism, in order for the JAL Group to work on this effort together. We spoke to the staff in charge of the department, Masanobu Tatsumi and Noriko Sunami of the Safety and CS Promotion Group of the Customer Service Department, and asked them about the specific initiatives the work involves.
Initiatives to promote accessible tourism
The aim is to promote accessible tourism so that all customers, regardless of age or disabilities, can enjoy traveling without feeling there are barriers. The main initiatives toward this are to proactively promote the removal of barriers and to provide fun and enrichment through travel. These will be pursued through activities such as creating demand, enhancing information, developing a demand response system, and developing human resources. Everything will be based on the Service Policy on Accessibility established by the JAL Group.
We'd been put in charge of these initiatives, but didn't know where to start. Then, we learned about Tokyo's Accessible Tourism Promotion Counselor Dispatch Project. Taking the opportunity, we quickly submitted an application. We received a wide range of advice from an Accessible Tourism Counselor, and a picture of what we needed to do gradually took shape.
Creating fun and enrichment through travel
As our first initiative, we cooperated with relevant departments to create special tour products that offer a variety of travel options. The aim was to encourage customers who feel there are barriers to their mobility to think, "I want to go traveling with my family."
We put together tours that make fun experiences accessible to customers who need support when walking or use a wheelchair. Examples include surfing in Hawaii and dual skiing (sit skiing) in Hokkaido.
For our second initiative, we established a Travel Consultation Support Office to provide advice and suggestions about travel, in order to support the needs and concerns of customers who require special consideration. We felt it would be necessary to allocate staff with specialized knowledge to the Support Office, so the challenge was developing human resources. All employees took e-learning training prepared by the JAL Group to raise awareness in terms of both knowledge and hospitality skills, and we held several study sessions based on the Hospitality Manual issued by the Tourism Agency.
Encouraging people to obtain qualifications and participate in training
We encouraged our employees to obtain qualifications by establishing a new system to help support the cost of obtaining external ones, such as the Service Care-Fitter qualification. Many employees have obtained qualifications using this system. In order to understand what problems elderly people face and what can be done to remove barriers, we also held the in-house Training for a Barrier-Free Mind. This included practical exercises such as how to operate a wheelchair and simulated experiences of what it's like to be elderly. In all, 70 people participated over the course of six sessions in total, including executives. The whole company committed itself to understanding and putting into practice the mindset that is required of each individual in order to promote accessible tourism.
We learned about the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's project Accessible Tourism Training for Travel Agencies, and nearly 70 employees from our company took the basic and applied training. The courses were packed with content, including key points about the Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities and making reasonable accommodations, simulated experiences of what's like to have a disability, and group discussions. The opportunities to exchange opinions with employees from other travel agencies were also very stimulating. We also learned that there is a dispatch version of the Accessible Tourism Promotion Seminar, which is also a project run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. We made good use of that, too. The seminar was customized based on various topics we wanted to include. More than 60 people participated in total, and it was an extremely meaningful event.
Toward the creation of a society where everyone can enjoy traveling, sports, and culture
By participating in seminars and training and obtaining qualifications, many of our employees have learned a lot of things. We believe their awareness of accessible tourism will continue to improve through further opportunities.
We cherish our connection with customers, and will provide individualized encounters and travel, develop our support systems, and aim to create a society where everyone can enjoy traveling, sports, and culture. To that end, we will keep on working actively to promote accessible tourism.
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Tokyo, a city that is accessible everywhere to anyone.
Sightseeing where you wish, as you wish.
This ability to travel anywhere you please makes life that much richer.
Tokyo welcomes your visit.
Here you can encounter tradition,
history, culture, nature, technology,
and, best of all, smiling faces.
Making tourism closer and more
enjoyable through accessible tourism.