FAQ stands for "Frequently Asked Questions"!
Here is a list of common questions that we receive at the ENAT Secretariat.
If you have a query which is not answered below, or you would like more specific information, please contact us directly by email, phone or fax.
Our contact details can be found at the Contact us page.
- What is "Accessible Tourism"?
- Our organisation would like to join ENAT. What are the requirements for being a member?
- We are not located in Europe. Can we join ENAT? What benefits would we get?
- We are coming to Europe for holidays. Can you help us find a wheelchair accessible transport service in these cities...?
- Can we use the ENAT logo in our advertising or publicity?
- We own a hotel (guesthouse/visitor attraction). Can you tell us where to get professional advice about improving the accessibility of our premises?
- My companion is disabled and we wish to complain about the poor service on a recent flight in/to/from Europe. Can you help us to contact the appropriate agency?
- Where can we apply for European Union funding to make our our hotel / destination / attraction accessible for disabled people?
What is "Accessible Tourism"?
There is no single, universally accepted definition of "accessible tourism". Here we refer to some of the ways in which the term is defined and used. The concept is certain to evolve as it is applied in more and more contexts around the world.
- “Accessible Tourism” (also known as “Access Tourism”, “Universal Tourism”, “Inclusive Tourism” and in some countries such as in Japan “Barrier-free Tourism”) is tourism and travel that is accessible to all people, with disabilities or not, including those with mobility, hearing, sight, cognitive, or intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, older persons and those with temporary disabilities" (Takayama Declaration - Appendix, UNESCAP, 2009).
- " 'Accessible Tourism' refers to tourism that caters to the needs of a full range of consumers including persons with disabilities, older persons and cross-generational families. It entails removal of attitudinal and institutional barriers in society, and encompasses accessibility in the physical environment, in transportation, information and communications and other facilities and services. It encompasses publicly and privately owned tourist locations." (Takayama City and UNESCAP Conference - Press Release - Takayama, 2009)
- "Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age. It encompasses publicly and privately owned tourist locations. The improvements not only benefit those with permanent physical disabilities, but also parents with small children, elderly travellers, people with temporary injuries such as a broken leg, as well as their travel companions." (Accessible Tourism on Wikipedia - downloaded 1 January 2010).
- ...a process of enabling people with disabilities and seniors to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universal tourism products, services and environments. The definition is inclusive of the mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions of access (Darcy, 2006, p. 6).
Darcy, S. (2006). Setting a Research Agenda for Accessible Tourism. In C. Cooper, T. D. LacY & L. Jago (Eds.), STCRC Technical Report Seriespp. 48). Available from http://www.crctourism.com.au/BookShop/BookDetail.aspx?d=473
- ...Accessible tourism enables people with access requirements, including mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions of access, to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universally designed tourism products, services and environments. This definition is inclusive of all people including those travelling with children in prams, people with disabilities and seniors (Darcy & Dickson, 2009, p. 34). Reference: Darcy, S., & Dickson, T. (2009). A Whole-of-Life Approach to Tourism: The Case for Accessible Tourism Experiences. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 16(1), 32-44.
- ...When people hear the word “accessible” attached to tourism they think they have a pretty good idea what that means. And there is the problem. Almost everybody thinks they know what it means but, since it has never been fully defined, almost everybody has invented their own personal definition. That is a recipe for disaster. If travellers and the industry have no common language, then imagine how frequent disappointment and disputes will become? If hotel owners and construction teams have no way to describe the solutions they want designed and built, then how likely is either side to be satisfied with the result? Reference: Dr. Scott Rains' slide presentation on "What is Inclusive Tourism?"
(Note: Increase the slide presentation to full screen for easier reading. Unfortunately, the text transcript below the slideshow is jumbled up).
Further definitions and uses of the term may be added to this page.
Readers may send their comments or additional definitions to ENAT via the Contact Page.
Our organisation would like to join ENAT. What are the requirements for being a member?
[This answer was updated on 1st January 2010, reflecting the Membership requirements of ENAT as a non-profit association].
Membership of ENAT is open to any legally constituted organisation. Individuals may also join. Members must support the aims and objectives of the network, as expressed in the Statutes.
As a network, ENAT brings together a diverse range of organisations and people: some are experienced in providing accessible tourism infrastructure, information or services, while others join to learn and do more. The common denominator is a willingness to promote accessibility in tourism, to share experiences and learn from each other.
New members must first register their profile at the Registration page.
All members enter the association as "ordinary" members (Associate Member).
Full Members are admitted only after a written application to the ENAT Board. Only Full Members have voting rights and they are expected to attend the Annual General Assembly.
The membership fee for Associate Members (in Europe) is half the Full Members' fee.
Organisations and persons resident outside Europe can only join as Associate Members.
The annual fee for Associate Members outside Europe is half the European Associate Members' fee.
See the Categories and Fees page for details.
We are not located in Europe. Can we join ENAT? What benefits would we get?
Organisations and individuals based outside Europe can also join ENAT as "Associated Members".
An Associate Member (outside Europe) has access to all the information and networking opportunities which apply to European "Associate Members". Your contact details and interests can be shown to other members in your "Personal Profile" page. You can also search the members' database for contacts. Associate Members may send content for uploading on the website, and participate in events organised for ENAT members. However, Associate Members do not have voting rights in the General Meeting of ENAT.
We are coming to Europe for holidays. Can you help us find a wheelchair accessible transport service in these cities...?
ENAT does not provide transport or booking services. Nor does ENAT endorse or recommend particular service providers. However, we will try to pass on such enquiries to all those ENAT members that offer the requested services in a particular city, region or country.
Can we use the ENAT logo in our advertising or publicity?
[This answer was updated on 6 December 2009].
At present, if you are an ENAT Member, you can add the "Member of ENAT" logo to your website or printed publications to show that you are part of the Network.
After logging in to the site, go to the Logos and Banners page.
There are different files for Web publishing and for high resolution printing.
You may also use the ENAT Banners on your website. If you do, please add an image tag saying < ENAT logo > and a link to www.accessibletourism.org
Members who have signed the ENAT Code of Good Conduct may request the window sticker which goes with the 'ENAT Code of Good Practice' certificate. The sticker will be sent by post to the member's address, so please make sure your address, as given in your member profile, is correct!
Please send us an email via our Contact Page if you have any questions about downloading or using the ENAT logos and banners.
We own a hotel (guesthouse/visitor attraction). Can you tell us where to get professional advice about improving the accessibility of our premises?
You will need an advisor who knows the national accessibility legislation and standards for your country, and who is experienced in this kind of work. The advisor will normally start with an access audit to identify the weakspots and then propose some solutions, based on your budget and the required standards. In most European countries there are ENAT members who specialise in providing access audits and advice to businesses about how to improve accessibility for disabled customers and other visitors.
ENAT refers business enquiries such as this to specialists who are listed in the ENAT members' database. Please provide some details about your business and what you require, and we will forward the information to those members who work in or near your area. We should point out that ENAT cannot provide a guarantee for the qualifications or expertise of the specialists we may refer you to. However, ENAT is looking into the possibility of developing a more comprehensive 'Business Referral Service' for matching professional clients and ENAT Members, where customer references will be required. We expect to announce this new service in the first quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, we suggest that you ask for a list of references for similar work done by any advisor who you may consider hiring.
Business-to-Business enquiries can be sent to the ENAT Secretariat - see the Contact page for details.
My companion is disabled and we wish to complain about the poor service on a recent flight in/to/from Europe. Can you help us to contact the appropriate agency?
ENAT does not handle passenger complaints nor is ENAT an authoritative (statutory) body for travel or tourism businesses in Europe.
Air passenger issues concerning flights within the EU members states and flights in or out of the EU are governed by EU regulations. The regulations are enforced by the National Enforcement Bodies (NEB). Passengers must make their complaint, in the first instance, to the airline. If you are not satisfied with the answer you receive, you should complain to the NEB in the EU Member State where the plane departed or arrived.
The European Commission runs the Air Transport Portal (website), where you can get further information about the EU regulations and passengers' rights.
At the above website you will find a Complaints Form which you can download and fill in. Surprisingly, the Complaints Form does not include specific reference to problems concerning boarding /seating passengers with mobility impairments, so you will have to explain such issues in detail. You should send the Complaints Form plus any supporting documents (e.g. copy of your previous letter to the Airline, flight numbers/ boarding passes/ seat numbers) to the NEB.
The European Commission website referred to above lists the NEBs for all EU Member States in a downloadable PDF document:
Where can we apply for European Union funding to make our our hotel / destination / attraction accessible for disabled people?
There is no EU office which receives applications and gives direct funding to owners of businesses who want to make their facilities accessible to disabled people. It may be possible that some funding is available for improving accessibility through the EU Regional Funds, which are administered separately by each EU Member State. Each country makes its own programme and priorities for spending EU funds at national and regional level.
Contact, for example, the Regional Tourist Board or Regional Department / Prefecture or Municipality to learn how these funds are allocated at the regional and local level. Possibly they will have a support programme addressing architectural adaptations and accessibility for small enterprises.
There is also a website where you can get more information about European support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises: (SMEs).
http://ec.europa.eu/small-business/index_en.htm Search for contacts in your own country.