San Marino Declaration on Accessible Tourism

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The Declaration which resulted from the 1st UNWTO Conference on Accessible Tourism in Europe, held on 19-20 November 2014 in the Republic of San Marino, can be read and downloaded here in English, French and Spanish.

   San Marino Coat of Arms   U(NWTO logo The Declaration which resulted from the 1st UNWTO Conference on Accessible Tourism in Europe, held on 19-20 November 2014 in the Republic of San Marino, can be read and downloaded here in English, French and Spanish.


The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of San Marino, the authorities of the member countries of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), members of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, representatives of the tourism sector, disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and the related civil society and private sector stakeholders, intergovernmental and international organizations, universities and experts met in San Marino on 19/20 November 2014 on the occasion of the First UNWTO Conference on Accessible Tourism in Europe.

Considering the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006 as the global action framework in the sphere of universal accessibility, whose Article 30 recognizes the legitimate right of access to sports, cultural, leisure and tourism activities by persons with disabilities;

Whereas the mandate of the UNWTO is “the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”, as established by the Statutes of the Organization;

Inspired by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999, and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, whose Article 7 underlines that “…a direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants” and explicitly recommends that “tourism for persons with disabilities should be encouraged and facilitated”.

Referring to the Recommendations on Accessible Tourism, adopted by the 20th UNWTO General Assembly in 2013, as a reference document for tourism stakeholders for making their infrastructures, products and services accessible to all people, as well as the related Manuals co-produced with civil society organizations -the ONCE Foundation, ENAT, and the ACS Foundation;

Taking into account the principles contained within the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, a comprehensive framework committing the European Commission to the empowerment of people with disabilities;

Recognizing the wide scope of the multi-stakeholder recommendations emanating from the Declaration from the World Summit Destinations for All, held in Montreal, Canada, in October 2014;

Commending the efforts carried out by public authorities, private sector and the civil society stakeholders in making the heritage city of San Marino ever more accessible for all;


1. Convinced that Tourism for all benefits not only people with disabilities and special needs, but all people, while entailing major economic opportunities for a myriad of sectors far be-yond travel and tourism;

2. Cognizant of the gradual progress in the sphere of universal accessibility in Europe, but also of the pressing issues bestowed upon people with disabilities in developing countries and emerging economies;

3. Aware of the challenges and opportunities of making heritage cities accessible for all without jeopardizing their monumental integrity and their historical relevance;

4. Mindful of the importance of smart technologies and their future evolution in facilitating the access and enjoyment of tourism destinations by all;

5. Committed to constructive and more results-based partnerships between the policy makers, local authorities, the private sector and disabled people’s organizations in making tourism and heritage infrastructure, products and services accessible for all;


1. To engage in awareness-raising and training actions with the aim to eliminate attitudinal barriers amongst tourism and heritage professionals at all levels and to persuade the private sector of the competitive advantages of investing in Tourism for all;

2. To ensure that the right to experience tourism is not hampered by global economic uncertainties and that the spirit of solidarity and international cooperation for improving accessibility is sustained and further promoted;

3. To observe the principles of Universal Design when creating new tourism infrastructures, products and services and improving the existing ones, particularly in case of the cultural heritage of tourism interest;

4. To facilitate the development and application of smart technologies to provide objective information about all services (regardless of their degree of accessibility), so as to enable travellers to evaluate their own personal accessibility requirements, and, if necessary, with the involvement of civil society organizations to propose concrete solutions in order to enhance accessibility and the quality of hospitality;

5. To mainstream universal accessibility throughout all the components of the tourism value chain, including the physical environment, the transportation system, information and communications channels, and a complete range of public facilities and services;

6. To promote and disseminate good practices and case studies in the field of universal accessibility in travel and tourism; and

7. To strengthen cooperation with all relevant entities working in the field of universal accessibility at international and regional level, in particular the European Union, and to engage in public-private partnerships with the travel and tourism industry, non-governmental entities and disabled persons organizations for the development of new global policies in the field of universal accessibility.

San Marino, 19 November 2014

Download the San Marino Declaration in PDF format in English, French and Spanish from the right-hand panel.

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