Mr. Antony Leopold
Day 2 : 24th November 2021, 11.30am
Topic : “Accessible Tourism in Malaysia and the Importance of Technology”
Antony Leopold, 69 year’s old, contracted polio when he was 1 1/2 years old, disabling both his legs. He moves around with the support of a pair of callipers and walking sticks or a wheelchair for further distances. Completed his primary and secondary school at St. Michael’s Institution in Ipoh, Perak. He went on to complete, Accountancy and Business Management studies in Singapore.
Antony is married to an able-bodied lady and has three children. Worked for a while in some corporate companies in Kuala Lumpur. He loves to travel, visited several countries abroad but found many obstacles in its way. Then he decided to join travel companies and worked for a few since the early ’90s. Though the owners of these companies were excited when
‘accessible travel’ was mentioned, it stopped there and never happened. Then in 2004, he and his wife decided to start their own travel company. Eventually, Travel Assist® Enabling Travel for the Disabled and Elderly was introduced. With this product his company have brought in more than a thousand disabled visitors to Malaysia, who normally travel with their partners, spouses, families & friends who travel with them.
Among the major disability conferences and events for disabled that he was involved in, was with the Institute of Disability and Public Policy (IDPP), School of International Services, American University, Massachusetts, Washington during their Annual General Meeting and monthly workshops that was held here in Kuala Lumpur in 2014, 2015 & 2016. Provision of Transport and Logistic support for about 40 disabled participants from U.S. and Asian countries was successfully handled by him.
He was an Organising Committee member for the 5th International Conference on Accessible Tourism held in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia from 4 – 7 December, 2014. He chaired the Transportation and Logistic Committee, catering to the transport and travelling needs of 100 plus participants and delegates who attended this conference including disabled persons from various international Antony also served as a Member of the Technical Committee (Access Audit: structure & environment) with the Petaling Jaya City Council for term 2011 – 2015. He was in the transport and Inbound subcommittees of the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tours (MATTA) from 2012 – 2016.
He has also attended various workshops and conferences both locally and aboard, as a delegate, speaker and panellist, including “ASEAN + 3 workshop – Tourism for All” held in Pattaya, Thailand in Sept’19.
In 7th October 2020, Asia-Pacific Network on Accessible Tourism (APNAT) was formed, of which he is the President. The main objective is to integrate all activities related to accessible tourism in the Asia Pacific region and making the region accessible for the elderly and tourists with disabilities