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Chinese Experts Visit Madrid, Spain To Learn What Makes A Leading Accessible Tourism Destination

20/05/2019 | 0 comments

 

Group photo of Chinese Study Group at Ministry of TourismChinese visitors at Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. (Photo: Accessible Madrid).

Thanks to the generous support of Booking Cares Fund (Booking.com), 10 Chinese guests will experience the best an accessible tourism destination can offer on a 4-day Study Visit arranged by ENAT - the European Network for Accessible Tourism - and some of its members in Madrid.

The Chinese delegation of disability advocates, researchers and university professors is led by ENAT member, Ms. Xun Ji, founder of “RARE N ROLL” - the hub of accessible tourism in China. In spite of physical challenges, social entrepreneur and change-maker, Ms. Ji, is an avid world traveller and blogger with a large following in China.

The aim of this unique tour is to establish closer ties between Chinese, Spanish and international experts and organisations, fostering innovation and new opportunities for developing Chinese inbound, outbound and domestic tourism for visitors with disabilities or other specific access requirements.

The Chinese delegation will visit and meet with representatives of key players in Accessible Tourism, including: the Regional Government of Madrid, Madrid Destino, SEGITTUR – The Spanish National Tourism Agency, PREDIF, ILUNION Hotels, Fundación ONCE, the Municipality of Alcala de Henares, Spain Heritage Cities Group, UN World Tourism Organization, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and the Prado Museum. The Study Visit is arranged in association with local tour operator, Accessible Madrid.

Monday's programme also included Guest Speaker and ENAT Member, Mr. Magnus Berglund, Director of Disability at Scandic Hotels, the Nordic countries' largest hotel group. He shared Scandic's motivations and some experiences of staff training, service design and welcoming all guests, which has given Scandic the position of world leader in the hotel sector.

Speaking on the first day of the tour, ENAT Managing Director, Ivor Ambrose, said: “Our aim is to promote accessible, inclusive tourism everywhere. With this opportunity to showcase Madrid to Chinese experts from universities, disability organisations and business, we hope to start a positive cycle of change and development in the Chinese tourism sector. Giving the delegates first-hand experience of accessibility in Madrid will show how Spanish authorities, organisations and civil society are working together to reach new levels of customer service in the tourism sector.”

Ms. Xun Ji, leading the delegation from China adds: “China is looking to improve all aspects of life for people with disabilities and having the possibility to travel and experience new places and cultures is vital to everyone. We hope this study tour will open up new ideas and new possibilities for collaboration with Spain and Europe in the future”.

Chinese delegates include representatives of China Disabled Persons' Federation, the Institute of Accessibility of Tsinghua University Beijing, Fujian Minnan Normal University and the Fujian Provincial Foundation for Self-improving and Helping the Disabled and Needy Students.

Ms. Sofie Soares, who leads on Accessibility at Booking.com, participated in the study tour, sharing in the exchange of knowledge with Chinese and Spanish partners.

ENAT Non-Profit Association - Reaching Out To The World to Promote Accessible Tourism for All

‘Accessibility for All’ is fast becoming synonymous with the highest quality of customer service the tourism sector can offer. The convergence of Accessible Tourism with ‘the mainstream tourism sector’ was marked at the UNWTO World Tourism Day in September 2016, with a landmark event in Bangkok, Thailand. ENAT was there to highlight the value of accessibility, showcase best practices and point to policies, strategies and tools for development.

ENAT members, including National and Regional Tourism Organisations, cities, businesses, researchers and NGOs are now working together to develop frameworks for action, engaging with civil society and using new technologies and social media to reach new levels of customer service in the tourism sector.

ENAT aims to make tourism information, venues, transport systems, and services sustainable and inclusive - serving all visitors - and bringing rewards to both visitors and communities alike.

Download two Study Tour leaflets in PDF format from the right-hand panel.


ENAT Member LogoFundación ONCE is a Founding Member of ENAT, while Madrid Destino, PREDIF, ILUNION Hotels,  Accessible Madrid and RARE N ROLL are Associate Members of ENAT.

 

 

 

 

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