ENAT - Aiming for a European Register of Accessible Tourism Suppliers
15/12/2012 | 2 comments
Photo of Minibus. Let's Go Costa Brava
A proposal for gathering the best accessible tourism service providers in one online database.
ENAT has been mentioned a few times as having a possible role to play in collecting and sharing information about where accessible accommodation, transport and other offers can be found. We have not yet found sufficient resources to set up an online database of suppliers (and maintain it, which is crucial) but this is certainly one of our objectives.
We already list those ENAT members who wish to be "visible" in our ENAT Members Directory
- you can find some very good suppliers here.
We also helped set up EuropeforAll some years ago for accommodation providers (and customers) but this data is getting old and still only covers a few countries. We need to go to the next level.
Right now (15/12/2012) ENAT is anxiously waiting for the results of a European Commission call for tender which asks for a 1-year study on " Mapping and Performance Check of the Supply of Accessible Tourism Services" [in Europe]. The study should not only reveal all accessible tourism suppliers in 28 European countries (phew!) but also set up some benchmarks and identify how they are doing, and which ones represent "good practice". A tall order indeed.
The study is a good idea but it will not lead (immediately at least) to a permanent service which some travel agents and tour operators are calling for. Also, if all this work is only done as a "one -off" study it would leave us little the wiser in say 3 years' time.
So, we have tried to address this problem in the ENAT bid of tender by actually proposing to set up a standing service as part of the data collection work for the study. In our minds the starting point for any analysis must be to get businesses to register themselves in a central database and make a ¨declaration¨ of the accessible services they offer. (We'll need to check their claims too, by various means). If this tender-strategy works we could let businesses register for free (as our work setting up the database would be covered by the tender fees), and then ENAT would keep the service going after the study period, within our non-profit remit and with help from willing partners. In the long-term the database could serve as a resource for many spin-off B2B and B2C services.
Now we must see if the Commission likes our ideas for the tender but, in any case, we plan to follow this development path in the near future - it will just start a lot sooner if the EC gives us the job.
We will also be in touch with Jani Nayer at SATH and Eric Lipp (USA ) to see how we might pull this all together. Europe is not an island and accessible tourism has to be global!
Join ENAT if you would like be more closely involved in what we are doing. Indeed, we need active members and ideas to move forward with this and many other issues!
- Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director, ENAT