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ENAT President's Message: 17 October 2019

photo of Anna Grazia Laura, ENAT PresidentPhoto of Anna Grazia Laura, ENAT President

Rome, 17th October 2019.

Dear Friends,

At the end of our Summer holidays (in the northern hemisphere), it is normally the right time to make plans for the future, either on a short or long term perspective.

We have defined the guidelines for ENAT’s 5-year work programme, with the following top priorities:

  • the consolidation of our presence in Europe as well as the approach to a wider and global vision of the involvement of the top actors in Accessible tourism development worldwide;
  • the revision of our strategic and policy goals to be able to respond to actual and anticipated changes in the environment we work in;
  • to focus on the tool which I consider as a major asset for our organisation - the World Tourism for All Quality Programme.

Since the launch, in 2018, which was the result of several years of development of this unique certification programme, responding to the need for defined and consistent quality criteria for accessible tourism training, service delivery and marketing, we are now in the position of including accommodation, restaurants, retail and cultural facilities in the Programme.

The World Programme is now being promoted not only in the European countries, but all over the world, to find synergies with existing or planned similar initiatives in order to build a system which will be recognised as a unique qualitative offer for tourists with specific access requiirements.

In the next couple of years we will also be working hard on Training and Technological developments linked to Tourism for All, thanks to our participation in several projects which have been selected to be financed by the European Commission; projects of excellence which will bring additional opportunities for both the Tourism sector and the tourists themselves to a better quality of travelling and the tourist offer.

The contents and products of the projects will be available through our website and all our members are invited to comment and give suggestions to finalize the best possible outputs.

I would like to bring attention to another initiative by UNWTO and ONCE Foundation which aims at recognising excellence in tourist destinations which are working regularly to make their offers more accessible to everyone. Launched during the 15th edition of the UNWTO Awards in St. Petersburg, the Accessible Tourism Destinations (ATD) initiative awarded the first recognition to Turismo de Portugal, one of our ENAT members with whom we have a long-standing cooperation and whose outstanding efforts to make its tourism infrastructure, services and products more accessible nationwide fully deserved this achievement.

On the same occasion, the UNWTO also recognised one of our founding members, Fundación ONCE, for its achievements as a Non-Governmental Organisation supporting the development of accessible, sustainable tourism for all.  

Also, the city of Barcelona (Spain) - another ENAT member - was conferred a special mention as an exceptional urban tourism destination,

We are proud to have been working with these partners during the last few years!

Finally, I would like to mention that, following the 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism in Brussels, October 2018, we are now working towards the establishment of a voluntary worldwide network inviting all our partners and key contacts in world regions to become an ENAT full member and intensify collaboration with our network, where we can all contribute to make accessible tourism a common practice for sustainable, quality tourism in every country of the World.

Our Goal is to be able to present some concrete results of our global networking at the 3rd edition of the World Summit which is being planned to take place in Miami, Florida on 21 to 23 September 2021.

A lot of work, a lot of challenges are in front of us all.   I count on the support of our Network to achieve together the ambitious goals that were set!!!

Thank you.

Anna Grazia Laura.


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