Two new studies produced by ENAT research staff are now available for download from the ENAT website. The first report, " Rights of Tourists with Disabilities in the European Union Framework" examines the key legislation and the way in which the rights of people with disabilities are being extended and safeguarded. The second report, "Services and Facilities for Accessible Tourism in Europe" presents definitions of accessible tourism, the target public and their specific needs, and an overview of services and facilities that tourism providers can adopt to improve accessibility. Both reports include many examples of good practice drawn from several European countries, illustrating a range of accessible tourism and travel services.
A major milestone has been reached with the publication this week of the recommendations from the Second International Conference on Accessible Tourism held November 22 - 24, 2007 at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand. Sixteen recommendations directed towards governments, public agencies, tourism businesses and academia seek to promote the development of inclusive tourism in the region, targetting a wide range of measures for both specialised and mainstream services.
At a congress held last week by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), over 200 representatives from international disability organisations, tourist boards and private enterprise came to the overwhelming conclusion that accessible tourism is the fastest-growing business opportunity in the tourism industry.
Accessibility in tourism in a social right that concerns all citizens in Europe. In Europe it is estimated that 10% of the population have some type of disability, this means around 50 million people. And this number will continue to grow due to the inevitable process of demographic change as half of them are over 65. It can be deduced that accessibility is essential for 10% of the population, necessary for 40% and convenient for 100% of the population. In recent years the rights of disabled people to travel and to participate in tourism, leisure, sport and other activities away from home have been strengthened in a number of areas by legislation and regulations at international, European and national levels. This report presents an overview of the key legislation and the way in which the rights of people with disabilities are being extended and safeguarded. The report shows many examples of how the front-runners in sections of the tourism industry are beginning to respond to the increasing demand for accessible tourism products and services.
As part of the two year ENAT work programme 2006 – 2007, a study of services and facilities for accessible tourism in Europe was conducted by Toegankelijkheidsbureau (Belgium). This report presents definitions of accessible tourism, the target public and their specific needs, leading to an overview of services and facilities that tourism providers can adopt to improve accessibility.
VisitBritain National Accessible Scheme Self-Survey for Serviced, Self-Catering, Hostel and Campus Accommodation. This detailed accessibility checklist is used to assess the suitability of premises for participation in the UK National Accessible Scheme which is managed by VisitBritain.
This report presents an analysis of the terminology related to disability, accessibility
and tourism. The demand and supply analysis covers an estimation of the market size
for accessibility in Europe and worldwide, the identification of key stakeholders and the
current supply of accessible products and services.
The Municipality of Arona, Tenerife Sur, has taken up the challenge to make its tourist offers available to everyone, including people with disabilities, through the Arona Integral Accessibility Plan. An access guide to Tenerif Sur, produced in 2007, covers information bureaux, facilities, transport and accommodations in three languages, Spanish, English, German. The Guide has 170 pages and is richly illustrated.
The C.A.R.E. project (Città Accessibili delle Regioni Europee – Accessible Cities in the Regions of Europe) was based on the cross-national sharing of city development policies in which accessibility to everyone is key to quality, in order to make the geographical resources better suited to the requirements of all those users who have special needs. "Cities that will be able to fulfil the most exacting requirements will be more functional and friendlier to everyone".