Amar Latif of Traveleyes, a tour operator for the visually impaired, has received The Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Latif established the business in 2005 with the aim of helping blind people experience world travel. Sighted travellers join the visually impaired on trips to destinations including Cuba, Canada, Italy and Spain, acting as their ‘eyes’ by describing their surroundings.
Stelios Haji-Iounnou presented Latif with a cheque for £50,000 at an award ceremony in London last night.
Latif, a Scotsman now based in Leeds, has only five percent of his sight remaining. He said: “It’s a great honour to have won this fantastic award and to have had Traveleyes recognised in this way.
“The £50,000 will be used to expand Traveleyes into a fully international service. This will enable us to serve our blind and sighted travellers around the world.
“I set up Traveleyes as from an early age I always suspected there was a stunningly beautiful world waiting to be explored. Traveleyes holidays offer greater social, sensory and cultural variety and enhanced personal fulfilment. For the visually impaired traveller, Traveleyes provides a new sense of independence. For the sighted traveller it’s a holiday that provides an enhanced sense of purpose.”
Activites offered by Traveleyes include sky diving, hiking, kayaking, and cookery courses. Latif is working on a ‘walking with lions’ trip for 2008.