Visit Flanders win the Amadeus and WTM Travel Experience Award in Category 'Accessible Tourism'
10/11/2013 | 0 comments
On November 6th, Visit Flanders was awarded the ‘Amadeus & WTM Travel Experience Award’ for its provision in Accessible Tourism.
The judges praised the efforts that Flanders has made to become an accessible holiday destination for everyone, particularly in respect of the improvements made in the Flanders Fields area, prior to its Great War Commemoration.
Speaking after the award, Peter De Wilde, General Administrator of Visit Flanders said "Flanders aims to be a holiday destination for everybody. Over the past 12 years, the region of Flanders has made great strides in terms of investing heavily in practical accessibility of buildings, but also by educating and offering reliable information. In the 21st century, holidaymakers consider accessibility to be an essential component of quality. The Tourism sector in Flanders can’t miss the opportunity to distinguish itself in this field."
The judges also expect the provision of accessibility to be a necessity for every destination supplier. “Accessible travel is a growth market for the travel industry”, stated the judges. "Suppliers of the tourism industry need to cater to the needs of travellers with disabilities in a way that exceeds expectations".
The award, was made possible by a joint collaboration between Visit Flanders and the province of West Flanders. It is expected the commemoration of the Great War centenary will bring thousands of domestic and foreign visitors to Flanders Fields. Amongst this number, there will undoubtedly be many people with disabilities who will benefit from an improved accessibility infrastructure in this area. With this in mind, a number of accessible buildings and attractions were compiled in a dedicated ‘Flanders Fields-Accessible for Everyone” brochure available in English and French.
"By not limiting accessibility to separate points of interest but also covering all aspects of the entire region, we are able to offer Flanders Fields as a fully accessible destination for everyone, “, says Peter De Wilde. “If this meant adapting the trenches, we did all that was possible to make the area accessible friendly. The result of all of these efforts is now visible, even if there is of course, still room for improvement. "
In addition and in keeping with its accessibility commitment, Tourism Flanders has developed a new stand at World Travel Market that meets the major accessibility criteria’s. “Furthermore, specialised organisers of accessible travel in Flanders have been actively invited to come to see the features of accessible Flanders Fields and to draw upon their experiences in our regions as an inspiration for other major tourist regions, such as the coast and the cities”, " stated Peter de Wilde. ”A disability or impairment”, he concludes “shouldn’t create a bar to travel"
Our sincerest congratulations on your well-deserved Award!
- Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director, ENAT