Candidacy for ENAT President, 2013. Anna Grazia Laura, Italy
09/06/2013 | 0 comments
Anna Grazia Laura, ENAT Presidential Candidate
Born in Rome on the 25 of October 1942, Italian nationality, married.
Graduated in Political Sciences, after a career in Marketing information and planning Office at Alitalia Airlines with the tasks of studying, forecasting and developing travel markets and setting up of tourism databases, in 1993 she joined CO.IN. (Cooperative Integrate Onlus and then Consorzio Sociale COIN), an organisation involved in creating job opportunities for people with disabilities, also through accessible tourism, with the responsibility of developing the Tourism Dept. at national and international level. She is presently responsible for International relations and European projects and represents CO.IN in several EU funded projects
At National level
- Setting up a network among the associations active in the field of tourism for disabled people, in order to offer a better information service to disabled tourists in Europe, with qualified and reliable accessibility data, based on accepted criteria and symbols;
- Improving the tourist offer in terms of accessibility, through contacts with European Associations, in order to widen the mobility and travel possibilities of people with special needs;
- Encouraging the exchange of experiences among disabled people living in Europe and in Countries outside the European Union, particularly in the Developing Countries;
- Training and awareness raising on accessible tourism and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Promoting integration of disabled tourists at all levels by arranging a general system of integrated information and tourist products
- Organisation of conferences and seminars
- Networking at national and international level on the issues of equal opportunities and Design for All
- Lecturer in different training courses at national and international level, on the themes of inclusive tourism and equal opportunities
- From 2007 t0 2009 member of the Commission for the analysis of the issues related to disability with specific reference to the usability of cultural facilities , created by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage
- From 2009 member of the Commission for the promotion and support to accessible tourism created by the Ministry of Tourism and recently (June 2012) reconvened by Ministry Gnudi of the present Italian Government.
At International level
- As a member of M.I., she was responsible for the preparation for the Italian section of the "European Guide for disabled people" commissioned by DGXXIII of the European Union;
- She participated to the creation of FfIT (Federation for Integrated Tourism): an association of tour operators specialised in the field of accessible tourism.
- From 2007 to 2011 she represented COIN within BITS Bureau International du Tourisme Social (OITS) in the Working Group Tourisme et Handicap
- From 2010 she represent the Group in the Board of Directors of ENAT European Network for Accessible Tourism – The mandate will expire in 2016
- Lecturer in many international events in Europe on disability issues and accessible tourism
ENAT and the future: strategies for consolidation and development
We are celebrating the first 5 years of existence of ENAT and the results are particularly important: the network developed and is now a well established and acknowledged international network on accessible tourism, both at European and international level, thanks to the hard work of the Board who managed the Organisation and to its President.
Consequently how should we build up our future?
I am convinced that the key words for our further growth must be “Consolidation” and “Development”.
There is the need to foster our past successes as our present image in the tourism for all world still attracts many new organisations, interested in joining the network, mainly due to its visibility and experience in the field and the added value that they can give to their own activities by simply participating.
There is the need to promote ENAT further to make the network reach its well deserved position of a recognised referral point in the field, whose opinion, advice and support must become a must in every situation dealing with accessible tourism.
To be able to reach these goals we have to be very realistic in analysing our strengths and weaknesses.
The areas we have to consider for improvement are:
- a basic shortage of Funds necessary to give the Network the possibility to survive and the opportunity to be able to develop its own strategies
- a minimal availability of funds to remunerate the main organisational figures ( Administration, Managing director, etc,)
- an internal distribution of operational tasks in order to share the workload on different members
- clear definitions of areas of activities to be set up and provided to members as ENAT certified services.
Funding and fund raising
This is a fundamental issue to be dealt with since the availability of enough economic resources will allow the Organisation to be more independent in pursuing its institutional objectives.
a) promote recruitment of new members, possibly favouring as much as possible the “international” presence of countries outside EU
b) favour the increase of the number of full members
c) define a system of service fees for contracts/projects obtained by members through ENAT
d) specialised consultancy to be provided to members either centrally or through the national representatives
e) definition of a business plan and identification of relevant opportunities, to introduce paid services online.
The Network needs a further qualification based on:
a) an improved set of services provided to the members
b) a quality seal in order to evaluate, on the one hand, the applications for new memberships and the members’ information uploaded in the website and on the other hand, to revise the existing members’ performances. This will have two positive results: the members who get this seal ( label, or whatever) may use it on their products to show that they are recognised as quality service providers by ENAT, and the users of the website who will know they can rely on quality services
c) an improved visibility of the services offered by members in the website
d) in the long term ENAT could also envisage the possibility to get ISO certification on its main activities, which is a cost, but should also be seen as an opportunity for further inclusion of the network in public contracts.
Training in the field of tourism for all is an issue whose importance is recognised at every level. See the recent call for tender for a study, commissioned by DG Enterprise, on training and skills need for accessible tourism, which ENAT is a partner to.
The Network should develop further online training possibilities, offering a free basic course, as the ones already present in the web, and then encourage tourism businesses and education organisations to follow more comprehensive courses at a competitive cost.
The topics may be adapted to different audiences and ENAT may also take advantage of the existing experience of many members, recognising them a royalty.
Another opportunity for business could be the offer of face2face training.
In this case it would be necessary to create a group of expert trainers within ENAT, with experience in the different areas required by a complex issue like the one of accessible tourism and the possibility to deliver the course in English and, possibly, the national language of the country where the training will take place.
Relations with other Bodies
The relationships with the major worldwide tourism organisations, already based on signed MoUs and cooperation agreements, should be maintained and improved to achieve a more decisive role for ENAT in the issues related to tourism for all, particularly in the preparatory status of major decisions.
Cooperation agreements should be sought and established also in other areas of public bodies at EU and national level, social organisations, such as Unions and/or bodies whose mission is job inclusion of people with disabilities: ENAT role could be the one to promote more focused actions towards accessible tourism and jobs’ creation in the tourism field, thus offering people with disabilities an additional opportunity for widespread social inclusion.
Anna Grazia Laura
Candidate for the Presidency of ENAT
Member of ENAT Board of Directors
Consorzio Sociale COIN, Italy
ENAT's first President, Lilian Müller, will step down from her position after 5 years of service at the Annual General Assembly which takes place in Ávila, Spain on Tuesday (evening) 25th June 2013.
Only ENAT Full Members are entitled to select a new President, in accordance with the Statutes. Full Members are requested to send a representative to the AGA or, if hindered from doing so, give their mandate to a fellow Full Member.
ENAT Associate Members may attend the AGA as Observers, subject to available space in the meeting room.
For further details about the AGA please use the ENAT Contact page.