United Nations World Tourism Organization Awards Accessibility Tool
27/11/2012 | 0 comments
The World Tourism Organization has presented the Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia with the Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology for the online application TurAcces/IBV.
This free online tool allows tourism managers to assess the accessibility of their facilities (hotels, campings, rural houses and restaurants). The tool, available at www.turacces.ibv.org, further provides reports with proposals to improve accessibility, prioritized by importance and urgency based on current laws and standards.
Historically, the lack of accessible businesses is derived from the belief that there is no demand for such resources. However, only in the European Union there are about 50 million people with a permanent disability (in Spain 3.5 million people, approximately 9% of the population), to which should be added those with a temporary mobility or communication problem.
The elderly people, an increasingly active and demanding sector, can also benefit from more accessible establishments. There is also a large number of potential tourists who demand and appreciate the quality and ease of use in establishments.
Though wide doors, non-skid floors, handrails in hallways and staircases for support, correct and complete signalling, for example, makes everyone’s lives easier. "The purpose of this tool is that accommodations and restaurants comprehensively improve their level of accessibility, allowing to configure an accessible tourism that ensures quality in tourism for the entire population, while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty," explains the director of Tourism and Leisure of IBV, Javier Ferris.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the UNWTO Knowledge Network confer the UNWTO Ulysses Prize and Awards annually to highlight and showcase Innovation and Application of Knowledge in Tourism. The award to IBV recognizes the work of this technology centre in the tourism sector, where it operates since 2005 with the aim of increasing differentiation and positioning of tourism enterprises.
The application TurAcces/IBV has been supported by the Regional Ministry of Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana, the European Union through FEDER funds, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade of Spain and the Regional Ministry of Culture and Tourism Community of Madrid.
TurAcces/IBV is the result of a research of several years. IBV thanks the collaboration of Hotel Business Association of Benidorm and the Costa Blanca (HOSBEC); the Hotel Business Federation of Valencia (FEHV); the Camping Federation of Valencia; Turistrat, rural tourism in Castellón; the Association of Rural Accommodation in the mountains of Alicante; the Representative State Platform of Physically Disabled (PREDIF) and the Hotel Technology Institute (ITH).
Visit the website: http://www.turacces.ibv.org
Further information on UNWTO Ulysses Awards
TurAcces/IBV partner, PREDIF is a Member of ENAT