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Mind the Accessibility Gap, 2014, Brussels - Conference Presentations


On 6 June 2014 the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, Tourism and Cultural Instruments Unit held a conference for tourism stakeholders where the results of three specially commissioned studies on Tourism Accessibility in Europe were presented and discussed by a distinguished panel of tourism practitioners and stakeholders.

Mind the gap banner


Pedro Ortun speaks to the audiencePhoto: Mr. Pedro Ortun, European Commission, by Ben Gale.
Watch the Conference again at the Live Streaming website.

Speakers' presentations are available for download on this page in PDF format, in order of presentation.

  • Ms Maria Maraka, General Director, Tourism Development, Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO). Maraka-text   Maraka-slides
  • Ms Flavia Coccia, Chair of the Committee for the Promotion of Accessible Tourism, Italian Ministry for Culture and Tourism  Coccia-slides

Session 1.  Accessible Tourism in Europe: Studies of Economic Impact & Travel Patterns, Supply and Training Needs
Objective: Presenting an overview of the structure of the market for accessible tourism.
Chair: Ms Lubomira Hromkova, Head of Unit Tourism and Cultural instruments Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry

Session 2 presenters
Photo: Ben Gale, Creative Spark Design Partnership

Session 2. Case study presenters Session 2. Good Practices Review: SME’s, Destinations, Training
Objective: Discussion of good practice examples highlighting the drivers, obstacles and business case for accessible tourism 
Chair: Ms Cristina Nunez, Managing Director, NECSTouR

Session 3. Creating and Maintaining the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain
Objectives: Highlighting the importance of mainstreaming accessibility across the whole supply chain – infrastructure, transport, customer service and marketing
Chair: Mr Eric Philippart , Deputy Head of Unit Tourism and Cultural Instruments Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry

  • Customer Viewpoint: Disability Horizons – Mr Martyn Sibley (wheelchair user, blogger, traveller, activist) M.Sibley slides
  • Hospitality viewpoint: HOTREC – Mr Christian de Barrin, CEO, Belgium HOTREC slides
  • Supplier viewpoint: CLIA –Europe (Cruise industry) - Mr Marco Digioia, Director of Government Affairs, Belgium  CLIA slides
  • National Tourist Board viewpoint: VisitEngland  – Mr Ross Calladine, Accessibility Expert and Head of Business Support, UK VisitEngland slides

Session 4. Closing the Gap: Policies and Plans for Inclusive, Accessible Tourism in Europe
Objectives: Examining the potential policy options and the need for future actions
Chair: Ms. Antonella Correra, Tourism and Cultural Instruments Unit, Directorate General Enterprise and Industries

  • Ms Inmaculada Placencia, Deputy Head of Unit, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, DG Justice: Accessibility initiatives in the EU DG Justice slides
  • Mr Oscar Almendros, Tourism Policy Unit, DG Enterprise and Industry: Increasing tourism flows in low-medium season DG Enterprise slides
  • Mr Spyros Michailidis, CEO, EWORX S.A. Greece: Supporting SMEs - a practical example:, the EU-wide Accessible Suppliers' Directory Pantou slides
  • Mr Bart Simons, AnySurfer, Belgium. European Disability Forum. Perspectives and Priorities for Accessible Tourism in Europe. (No slides)

EU Accessible Tourism Study Reports

EU FlagAlso available from the European Commission DG Enterprise Website.


  1. EU Study: Economic Impact and Travel Patterns of Accessible Tourism in Europe (PDF download)
  2. EU Study: Mapping Skills and Training Needs to Improve Accessibility in Tourism Services (PDF download)
  3. EU Study: Mapping and Performance Check of the Supply of Accessible Tourism Services in Europe (PDF download, added 19 April 2015)

EU Accessible Tourism Case Study Reports

1. EU Study: Economic Impact and Travel Patterns of Accessible Tourism in Europe - 10 Case Studies (PDF Download)

The 10 Case Studies are contained in one document of 50 pages.

  1. The City of Erfurt, Germany
  2. Accessible Poland Tours, Poland
  3. Château des Ducs de Bretagne, France
  4. Cave St Martin Winery – Remich, Luxemburg
  5. Berlin City, Germany
  6. Barcelona Metro, Spain
  7. Scandic Hotels, Sweden
  8. GVAM - Mobile Guides for All, Spain
  9. Restaurant Monnalisa Beach Restaurant, Italy
  10. Restaurant I Girasoli, Italy

2. Link to new page: EU Study Skills and Training Needs: 20 Case Studies (separate PDF downloads)

List of Skills and Training Case Studies

  1. ABTA, United Kingdom

  2. ETCAATS, EU Training Project, Sweden
  3. Perfil - Psicologia e Trabalho, Portugal
  4. SCANDIC Hotels, Sweden
  5. Kéroul
 Welcoming Ways, Canada
  6. ATHENA EU Training Project, Czech Republic
  7. Via Libre, Spain
  8. VisitEngland, United Kingdom
  9. People 1st, Welcome All. United Kingdom 

  10. PEOPLECERT, Greece
  11. COIN, Italy
  12. HERMES Airports, Cyprus
  13. Cluster for Accessible Tourism, Bulgaria
  14. Lousã, Accessible Tourism Destination, Portugal
  15. TACTALL EU Training Project, Spain
  16. Ministry of Tourism, Ontario, Canada

  17. Disney Corporation, France
  18. VisitFlanders’ Accessibility Training, Belgium
  19. Barrier-Free Destinations, Germany
  20. EU Funded Training Projects

3. Link to new page: EU Study Mapping and Performance Check of Accessible Tourism Services: 15 Case Studies (separate PDF downloads)

List of Supply Study Case Studies

  1. London, United Kingdom
  2. Frankfurt, Germany
  3. Arona, Spain
  4. Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Lousã Accessible Destination, Portugal
  6. Paris - Ile de France, France
  7. Disneyland Paris, France
  8. Slovenia NTA, ŠENT NGO and Premiki, Slovenia
  9. Moravia-Silesia and Tešín, Czech Republic
  10. Athens Historical Centre, Greece
  11. Trentino, Italy
  12. Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
  13. Hérault, le Languedoc, France
  14. Barcelona Cruise Destination, Spain
  15. Rovaniemi, Finland

Further information: EU Stakeholder Conference on Accessible Tourism. "Mind the Accessibility Gap"

Watch the Video "Mind the Accessibility Gap" produced by ENAT for the European Commission:

General Information

Submitted by: Ivor Ambrose
Author(s): Various
Language(s): EN


Publisher: European Commission and ENAT
Date published on the web: 09/06/2014


Accessibility auditing | Accessibility information, access guides | Accommodation services | Adventure | Age-related issues, (seniors) | Airlines and air transport | Ancient monuments | Archaeology | Architecture, design and planning | Assistive Technologies | Attractions | Beaches | Boats and boating | Buildings and facilities design, maintenance | Catering, restaurants, cafés | Cruises | Customer relations | Demographics | Design Guidelines, Design-for-All | Disability, disabilities, technical aids | Food and drink | Heritage | Hospitality | Hotel management, hotel business | Information and Communication Technologies | Languages | Lifestyle | Location-based services | Management of tourist venues and attractions | Marinas and ports services | Nature holidays | Nature parks | Photography, film and video | Policy, legislation | Publishing | Rail travel | Retail | Safety and security issues | Social tourism | Special services for disabled visitors | Sports | Staff training | Standards | Suppliers of equipment | Theme parks, leisure parks and water parks | Tourist information services | Transport services | Travel bags, luggage, accessories | Travel agents | Travel services | Walking and hiking | Young childrens' and families' holidays and services