Tourism for All - Manabi-tai
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The objective of the project is to create a social environment in which everyone, including those with restricted physical ability, can travel comfortably without having to worry about inaccessibility.
Tourism for All was founded in 1991 by a group of 10 individuals. It was a study group on ways to promote an environment in which every individual could travel freely, without physical restrictions or barriers. Over the years, the group has consolidated its activities, although its financial resources remain limited. While it continues to meet monthly, the group has broadened its action to include research, education and the dissemination of information on accessibility, as well as representations to stakeholders in the tourism industry. After 12 years of existence, Tourism for All had over a 100 members, all of whom playing an active role in the organization.
Since its creation, the organization has taken up the issues of "barrier-free" and "universal” design. These are among the principles that guide the actions and initiatives of organization.
Tourism for All has two sub-groups, named "Manabi-tai" (Learning Group) and "Asobi-tai" (Playing Group).
The activities of Manabi-tai involve:
- organizing gatherings on specific themes, such as attendant care during travel or legislation for traffic access;
- developing various research projects, relating mainly to a barrier-free travel environment;
- evaluating the accessibility of tourism sites and establishments. For example, before the opening of the Nagano Paralympic Games in 1998, the group was consulted to evaluate the accessibility of the sites and facilities;
- making representations to various levels of government and tourism authorities to promote accessibility;
- participating in travel and tourism industry conferences and trade shows.
The members take what they learn at the study meetings into the workplace, among which are travel agencies, airlines, and hotels.
A co-operative relationship has been established with the Association for Travel-Free in Yokohama, and with Accessible Morioka. The Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA) provides the site for the monthly meetings and financially supports the promotional activities of Tourism for All.
Resources needed :
The organization employs one administrative clerk (for correspondence and accounting) and a number of volunteers handle the activities of the board of directors and the publication of the newsletter.
Tourism for All operates with limited resources. The organization funds its operations mostly through annual membership dues and contribution from participants in activities, such as lectures.
Key elements of the project :
- partnership with an Association of Travel Agents;
- modest resources and volunteers participation.
Tourism for All, Japan
C/O Office Kinuta, 29-4 Kinuta 1-chome, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Phone : +813-3416-0428