Sano Touring on PRO TV
The translation below:
Anthony Tipling was born with a disease that has pinned him in a wheelchair since early childhood. He is now a successful travel blogger who writes about the places he visits from a disabled person's perspective.
This year he decided to write about Romania. He says the 5-star hotels where he stayed offered good access for disabled people, but he encountered many problems at the tourist attractions he wanted to visit. Here's what happened to him when visiting the old Ceaușescus' residence, recently turned into a museum.
Anthony Tipling, accessible tourism blogger: „When we got there, a lady told us that we are not allowed to enter in a wheelchair. She said it in a very cold and stern voice, which took me by surprise. I don't think this reflects a general Romanian mentality, but rather that of one individual. However, I realized that not a lot has changed here. ”
Museum employee: „We have no comment. I don't even know what this is about.”
Finally, another employee offered an explanation: „Disabled people cannot visit the museum for the moment, this information is made public and included on our website. Mr Tipling was not denied access to the building, I remember that very well, it's just that he could only visit the ground floor.”
The level of accessibility for disabled tourists in Romania is shown best on an interactive map developed by a NGO five years ago. Out of the 1,400 tourist attractions and lodging establishments included in the map, only 25% are accessible to disabled people. The red coloring marks the areas where this type of facilities are completely absent.
Alexandru Mănăilă – Motivation Foundation, Romania: „As far as hotels are concerned, the 4- and 5-star ones are required to have two accessible rooms, a wheelchair ramp, parking spaces and so on. For the 3-star establishments and below, all bets are off.”
Anthony Tipling: „Half of the sites I've visited have a reasonable degree of accessibility as far as I'm concerned, but I can move a little better than others; most disabled people would have had a real problem if they wanted to visit.”
On his way through Cluj, Sibiu, and Sighișoara, the young blogger had a pleasant surprise when he visited Peleș Castle.
Anthony Tipling: „We received special permission to drive right up to the main entrance and that made me feel a bit like a prince.”
In Romania, there are 780,000 disabled people registered with the authorities, who struggle daily – like Anthony has – because of the indifference shown both by authorities, and by their fellow men as regards parking spaces, ramps and access ways.