“Push your limits and your world becomes bigger”.
That was the advice from Amar Latif, founder of tour operator Traveleyes, which provides holidays for blind, visually impaired and sighted customers.
In a rousing speech to close the conference which received a standing ovation, Latif, who himself became blind at the age of 18, revealed how every time he was told “no”, it made him more determined to succeed.
“I was told I couldn’t do a degree, so I did one; I was told I couldn’t become an accountant, so I did; and when I found there was no way for me to travel as a blind person, I decided to create a way,” he told delegates.
Traveleyes now offers 70 destinations around the world with a range of different activities, from sailing to skiing, and Latif pointed out the tours often include a sensory focus, enabling travellers to touch ancient artefacts in Peru, or feel the Terracotta Warriors in China.
“It was blindness that made me travel the world and blindness that kept me seeing the world,” he said. “When a blind man tells you to see the world, you better believe it!”