The tourism sector already has many examples of good practice which are helping to making travel and tourism accessible for all. These examples must be better known and used by the industry in order to bring about innovation and improvements on a wider scale. The cases shown on these pages are placed here to generate discussion and inspire change.
No example is perfect but these projects and practices show what has been achieved in many different areas of accessible tourism.
Although historical heritage buildings undoubtedly are an important part of many touristic routes, provision of accessibility to them often is a technically complex process. This is a real challenge - the desire to preserve the visual appearance of historic buildings and hence their value, but at the same time making them accessible to everyone. This European Lifelong Learning "Grundtvig" adult learning project addressed these issues.
This project is a continuation of the project "Accommodation and Catering Accessibility for Disability”(ACAD), finished at the end of 2011, which met with a great interest of disabled people, institutions dealing with equality issues and the hotel and catering sector. In the TEAD project the results of its predecessor will be transferred to other services in tourism sector including tourist information centres, travel agencies, tourist guide organisations, tourist transport, regional promotion offices etc. The results are enriched with examples of good practices and experience of a new partner in the project – Access Sweden.
Being aware of the market potential of people with accessibility needs due to social- demographic trends internationally, the Basque Country is working in order to create a "Tourism for All in Basque Country" tourism offer. Based on an already created accessibility model, this project's objective is to further develop the model including required standards for new services and packages within six itineraries in the Basque Country taking into account the whole value chain and also the quality of the services provided.
Project STRING is a transnational cooperation initiative to be implemented by 12 partners from 6 countries. It aims to create 9 fully accessible itineraries respectively in Italy (Piedmont Regione), Spain (Ávila) and Bulgaria (Sozopol) which will then be developed into comprehensive tourist packages. Such packages will be put on the market, by Tour Operators through Travel Agency, singular or in composable modular box that allow customers to make their preferred combination.
The Access for All project, led by VisitEngland, will develop and promote 7 high quality accessible tourism itineraries. It will do this by:
• supporting tourism businesses through an ‘Access for All Development Process’ to improve information, customer service and facilities for the benefit of people with access needs.
• delivering a mainstream national marketing campaign
It will increase opportunities for people with access needs to take a short break giving them confidence in the accessibility of tourism products and services. Awareness of accessible destinations will be increased improving perceptions of Accessible England and Europe.
ACCESSTOUR is an acronym expressing accessible tourism in a short way. Accessible tourism could be considered disadvantaged in comparison with more traditional mass tourism. In the last years accessible tourism has become synonym of high quality care for persons with special needs and accessible destinations. The project aims at marking out the special qualities of accessibility implemented with effective and user friendly services.
The project "Cosy for You", supported by a web site and a mobile application (C4Y mobile app.) consists in the dissemination of "knowledge" of places, travel goods and services accessible at 360° in the Campania Region, in the South of Italy, starting with five different destinations: Napoli, Pozzuoli and "Campi Flegrei", Sorrento and the Sorrentine peninsula, Vesuvius area and Benevento, including 14 itineraries. It is proposed as best practice to other public and private institutions active in tourism in Italy and worldwide.
The overall objective of the project is the implementation, promotion and marketing of universal accessibility to the Route “VIA REGIA – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” between Frankfurt/Main and Leipzig combining 8 destinations.
The Mobility Unesco Sustainable Tourism (MUST) is configured as a specific action aimed at reducing the restrictions still existing between disabled and non-travellers, and at increasing awareness among tourism operators, for them to develop a methodology that could support the creation and promotion of accessible routes in other destinations.
The general objective of the EWB project is to create a network of entities able to promote and sell tour packages accessible to everyone. All services will be provided in a context where needs of people with special requirements should be attended to and resolved.
Metro - Wayfinding - Accessibility. What Metro For All does: Collect data about the infrastructure and layouts of metro stations; Analyze and visualize data related to metro usage, including geospatial data; Collect data about the infrastructure and layouts of metro stations; Research metro systems around the world and blog about them.
Polibienestar has created the platform SOCIALTOURISM, the first model of tourist universal accessibility, which allows to companies and Administrations a self-assessment online of its facilities and services on the basis of universal design criteria.