Destinations for All. A World Summit in Montréal in October 2014
Montréal. 19 to 22 October 2014. World Summit on Destinations for All addressing the themes of Tourism, Culture and Transportation for People with Restricted Physical Ability.
New! December 2013. Call for Abstracts now open at the new Summit website.
Press Release: Montréal, June 4th, 2012 – The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to climb to one billion in 2012. Persons with physical limitations account for roughly 15% of the population and this number should continue to rise given the aging demographic. Like everyone else, people with disabilities travel for business and pleasure, to visit friends and relatives, and to discover other ways of life, just with slightly greater difficulty.
How do we accommodate tourists with disabilities? Are our infrastructures, buildings and establishments adapted to be easily accessible to all? Can we safely aspire to reach international accessibility standards and benchmarks? Do "accessible" rooms in Montréal and elsewhere around the globe live up to the world traveller's expectations? How can a disabled person be sure his or her chosen destination is truly accessible? Is our front-line staff properly trained to host these guests and provide appropriate services? Which best practices from the tourism, culture and transportation industries should be considered model practices? What measures should these industries take to substantially facilitate the participation of individuals with disabilities in cultural and tourist activities?
Those are just some of the questions that will be discussed at the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit that is set to take place in Montréal from October 19 to 22, 2014.
The Summit's sub-heading expresses the actual scope of the topic at hand:
TOURISM, CULTURE AND TRANSPORTATION: A COMMON STRATEGY AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
In fact, the major sector-based organizations from the tourism, culture and transportation industries will be invited to unveil at least two changes they undertake to make to significantly improve travel and tourism conditions for persons with disabilities.
This World Summit should also prompt partners to join in an effort to make accessibility benchmarks and standards uniform across tourist establishments, attractions and transportation services.
The Summit will be organized by a steering committee comprising representatives of the organizations most active in promoting tourism accessibility globally, namely:
- World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)
- European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
- Tourisme et Handicaps (France)
- Fundación ONCE (Spain)
- Access Tourism New Zeeland
- Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH, USA)
- Transport Canada’s Transportation Development Centre
- The Ministère du Tourisme du Québec
- Kéroul, Tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability
A short description of these organizations follows at the end of this Press Release.
The International Center for Education and Research in Tourism (CIFORT) will hold, simultaneously, a scientific seminar regarding the Summit’s themes.
André Vallerand, Chairman of the CED and Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General, will chair the Summit's Steering Committee. Here, he highlights the event's primary focus:
"At a time when the population of the Western world is aging and international tourism continues to grow, it is crucial for domestic and global partners to consolidate their expertise and join forces to make travel and tourism easier for disabled persons."
For Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, this event will facilitate the fulfillment of the objectives of the UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism:
“Promoting accessible tourism is at the heart of UNWTO’s mandate and we are delighted to be an active part of the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit in Montréal. Through the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, UNWTO is committed to upholding the rights of the most vulnerable communities, particularly the elderly and the disabled. I firmly believe the Summit will be an opportunity to come up with solutions to considerably improve travel, accommodation and accessibility conditions across tourist attractions and services for persons with disabilities.”
Minister of Tourism Nicole Ménard believes that the World Summit reflects the importance of launching initiatives to promote accessible tourism:
“The World Summit is assembling leading organizations to foster cooperation among stakeholders through the accessibility of destinations. I would like to pay tribute to the efforts made by Kéroul, an official partner of the Ministère du Tourisme for the past 25 years, which is working intensely to make Québec a destination accessible to everyone.”
Without question, the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit in Montréal is an event ALL are invited to attend!
For event details, please check the site http://www.destinationsforall2014.com/en/index regularly and sign up to our newsletter.
André Leclerc, CEO, Kéroul
Michel Trudel, Advisor, Kéroul
Kéroul Tel. +01 514 252-3104, Email: email@example.com
Address: 4545, Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue, C.P. 1000, succ. M, Montreal, Quebec H1V 3R2
Download the Press Release in English or French (MS WORD format) from the right-hand panel.
Presentation of the partners of the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit, Montreal, 2014
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Based in Madrid, the UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)
The CED, a non-profit organization based in Montréal, is an innovative and powerful tool created in December 2006 with the assistance of the UNWTO, with which it is linked through a memorandum of understanding. This Memorandum commits both UNWTO and CED to work collaboratively on creating strategies and disseminating know-how and good practices, which help tourist destinations reach excellence.
European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
ENAT is a non-profit association for organizations that aim to be 'frontrunners' in the study, promotion and practice of accessible tourism. By leveraging the knowledge and experience of the network, our members are improving the accessibility of tourist information, transport, infrastructure, design and service for visitors with all kinds of access needs, providing models of excellence in accessible tourism for the whole of the tourism industry.
Tourisme et Handicaps (France)
The Association Tourisme et Handicaps is a non-profit organization. Its goals are to heighten professionals and public awareness of the problem of access to holidays for people with disabilities by different means: studies, training, expertise, exhibits, congress, publications, etc. This association promotes politics and programs facilitating access to holidays and, particularly, implements, promotes and manages the French national Label « Tourisme et Handicap ».
Fundación ONCE (Spain)
ONCE was created in 1938 to assist blind people in Spain. On the strength of its successful experience and its well-established structure, ONCE extended its responsibilities to all people with disabilities by creating the Fundación ONCE in 1988. The Foundation supports the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market, as well as universal accessibility. It manages a variety of programs that range from home-care services, job searching and training, to accessible taxis, and so on.
Access Tourism New Zealand
Access Tourism New Zealand is a well known forum and blog providing news and views about tourism, travel, and leisure that is accessible to people with disabilities, seniors, and Baby Boomers in New Zealand and Worldwide.
Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH, USA)
The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH), founded in 1976, is an educational nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad. Members include travel professionals, consumers with disabilities and other individuals and corporations who support our mission.
Transport Canada’s Transportation Development Centre
Transportation Development Centre (TDC) is Transport Canada's centre of expertise for research and development. It manages a multimodal R&D program aimed at improving the safety, security, energy efficiency, and accessibility of the Canadian transportation system, while protecting the environment. Its mandate is especially to promote innovation in transportation.
The Ministère du Tourisme du Québec
The Ministère du Tourisme du Québec (MTO) has the mission of supporting tourism development and promotion in Québec by fostering concerted action and partnership among the various stakeholders. It pursues its mission with a perspective of job creation, economic prosperity and sustainable development. The MTO works closely with Kéroul for the development and promotion of Québec as a destination accessible to people with restricted physical abilities. Several MTO activities addressing tourists with disabilities reflect the orientations of the government policy, À part entière : pour un véritable exercice du droit à l’égalité (Full Citizenship: For a Genuine Exercise of the Right to Equality).
Kéroul, Tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability
Kéroul is a non-profit organization, founded in 1979. Its mission is to make tourism and culture accessible to people with limited physical ability. It evaluates the accessibility of tourist and cultural establishments and its accessibility classification is the only one recognized by Tourism Québec. Kéroul trains front-line employees of tourist establishments, using its Welcoming Ways training program, and develops and promotes The Accessible Road, a tool that persons with disabilities can use to plan a host of “accessible” trips and getaways across Québec. The Accessible Road was conferred the Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2011.