ENAT President's Message, 20th December 2023

Winter camelia flowerPhoto: Winter camelia
Rome, 20th December 2023

An ambitious programme

Dear Friends,
The end of the year is approaching and it is time to present a summary of what we have achieved in 2023 and our plans for the New Year.
Several EU-funded projects came to an end this year and now our members and all the institutions we are in contact with may make full use of their results, to improve training, to adopt new parameters for the exploitation of cultural resources, to enlarge the knowledge and experiences of accessible tourism products.

The IN TOUR project has provided university-level curricula for education of managers and front-line staff in Inclusive Tourism.

DIVETOUR project has successfully developed new vocational training tools with a MOOC on accessible tourism, a gamified training app, 360-degree immersive videos, and the demonstration of a chatbot for hotels, answering accessibility questions for visitors.

The Horizon 2020 project, IMPACTOUR completed its work on a new, data-driven tool for managing visitor flows in cultural tourism destinations, in collaboration with 30 pilot sites across Europe. Destination managers can now use the Impactour tool to assess their tourism strategies and work towards ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of their cultural heritage sites, landscapes and routes. The online IMPACTOUR Community is open to new members who can apply directly on the website to learn and share experience in this protected online space, with many resources on cultural tourism.   

Looking to 2024 and beyond, we have a number of running projects which are dealing with topics of interest for tourism service providers and visitors with specific access requirements:

The INCLAVI (Inclusive Aviation) project aims at providing easier and more efficient access to air travel through a training programme for airline and airport staff, focusing on the needs and requirements of Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRMs) and improving customer services for all air passengers.

SENIOR ECO-NECT is looking at the many possibilities within the Silver Economy, all around Europe, to ensure that seniors can continue as active and engaged citizens into old-age, maintaining and developing their contribution to a more inclusive society. Businesses and knowledge centres that provide care, leisure, sport and travel services for seniors can join the senior economy Mapping at the project website.    

ENAT is a partner in the EC’s new flagship initiative, “AccessibleEU Resource Centre” which provides a virtual, one-stop-shop for awareness-raising, information and training on accessibility. Funded by the EU Commission, AccessibleEU aims to support the public and private sectors to realise the EU's accessibility policies and meet the requirements of accessibility Directives. ENAT founding member, Fundación ONCE (Spain) is leading a team of over 30 experts in all EU Member States, covering accessibility in the Built Environment, Transport, Information and Communication Technologies, Services for persons with disabilities, Policies and Standards. More than 80 live and virtual events are taking place each year throughout the EU to engage professionals, policy makers and stakeholders, with a Community of Practice, open to all interested persons and organisations. The project will continue until December 2025. The AccessibleEU website provides further information on each initiative.

ENAT is contributing to the EU Transition for Tourism Pathway, with commitments to develop accessible tourism strategies and tools for the tourism sector, leveraging the expertise and commitment of our members and applying the results of our EU-funded projects in consulting and standards setting.

We continue to work closely with our partner, UN World Tourism Organisation, and have recently supported the UNWTO San Marino International Tourism Conference which has launched the San Marino Action Agenda on accessible tourism 2030, pointing the way to making accessibility for all a key priority for destinations around the world.

We thank all our partners and ENAT personnel for their cooperation in developing and extending the resources we provide to our members and to the wider community as we work to deliver Tourism for All.
Recent News
At a General Assembly of the ENAT Full members in November 2023, we have revised our Statute to comply with the new Belgian legislation on non-profit associations. The new statute will see ENAT move its registered address officially to the premises of VisitFlanders, one of our long-standing Full Members, in the heart of Brussels. We will be happy to welcome you there, (by appointment), if you wish to visit us!
Let me remind you that January is the big membership renewal month for those who have enjoyed up to 3 years’ free membership due to our COVID fee waiver. We are getting back to normality, also on this issue which, I am sure, will be fully supported by all our actual, registered members!
It is a real pleasure, as usual, to be with you at the end of 2023 and to be able to wish you a very happy and successful New Year!
Let’s hope together that peace will be restored and that all the dramatic news we hear and look at every day will be cancelled by the force of good will and respect.

Happy New Year to all our members!

Anna Grazia Laura, Rome.

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