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A blind man has had amazing initiative and set up a holiday company catering specifically to visually-impaired customers who dream of travelling the world.
Amar Latif, from Leeds, has travelled to over 60 countries himself over the last ten years, even after he lost his sight to a genetic condition. During his travels, he put together a portfolio of destinations and activities for the partially-sighted before starting up his company, Traveleyes.
The company is set up so that it offers blind or partially sighted travellers the opportunity to travel the world with other sighted companions.
“The key to exciting travel experiences is a running commentary provided by sighted travellers,” Amar explains. “When we choose destinations, we don’t choose them for their accessible nature, we choose them for whether they are interesting for both blind and sighted people. It is then that we go out there to see how we can make it accessible. The destination has to be interesting for blind and sighted people as half our customers are sighted.”
Amar checks out every single destination himself before deciding to offer it to blind or partially sighted travellers, and he travels with the help of sighted assistants. He jokes to the MailOnline that ‘taking along a set of eyes’ in the form of sighted travellers is mutually beneficial as his sighted clients tend to get discounts. He’s travelled to places like the Greek island of Lefkas for a few days sailing, and where in a month’s time, 26 of his clients will discover what the area has to offer after signing up to the trip on his personal recommendation.
“These [our destinations] are visual places but our sighted travellers fill in the pictures – it’s a partnership.” Latif states.
The Yorkshire-born entrepreneur has also visited Zambia, Italy, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, India, the United States and Mexico, amongst others.
Latif often acts as a tour managers to the larger group trips, ensuring personally that his Traveleyes customers get everything they want out of the holiday.
What’s Amar’s most perfect destination? Cuba, he says. “The salsa music, the sunshine, travelling in the 1950’s cars, the rum, the cigar factories, the relaxing atmosphere.”