Archive of European Projects

Accessible Tourism Promoter for Small and Medium Enterprises
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In recent years topics like "Accessibility" and "Design for All" have increasingly become a focus of politics, business and public. The concept of accessibility focuses on equal participation of people with physical and mental disabilities in society. The maxim of "Design for All" also underlines that every person should be considered in the implementation of accessibility to have equal opportunities in participating in economic, social, cultural and recreational activities. Accessible tourism presents new challenges and increased demands in fields of accommodation, restaurants, leisure or wellness. Many tourism businesses, particularly in Eastern Europe, have superficial knowledge about how their companies have to be organised and arranged to be accessible for all. Here we are not just speaking of "typical" problems which for example exist for wheelchair users or blind people. There also exists a lack of offers for people with allergies or asthma. In this context it has been shown that barrier-free offers are welcomed and interesting also for people who would not describe themselves as person with disabilities. In other words, a place which is accessible to wheelchair users is very welcomed by older people (with or without a walker) or by families with pushchairs, or by cyclists. Thus, accessible tourism provides an economic opportunity for tourist regions. Disabled people in particular search very selectively the Internet for their vacations . Furthermore, they usually travel with an escort. Due to demographic changes in Europe, the need for accessible offers will increase considerably. To promote accessible tourism, the partnership plans to transfer the experience and best practice of the Brandenburg region in Germany into a vocational training to a so-called Accessible Tourism Promoter (ATP) for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Based on this training, the ATPs role is the long-term transformation of an enterprise into a barrier-free enterprise offering accessible services. The partnership that will implement the ATP consists of three tourist associations, a chamber of commerce, a university offering vocational training in tourism, and a social enterprise working on accessibility issues. This kind of partnership does not only ensure direct and manifold involvement of the target group, it also ensures a high quality of the proposed training and materials. Due to the type of partnership, the consortium expects a distinct impact of the project and its outcomes. Among these are - Raising awareness of the issue of accessibility in the partner regions - Awareness raising among SMEs in the tourism sector for accessible tourism, particularly for the economic potential of accessible tourism - Long-term transformation of SMEs in the tourism sector towards accessible SMEs - Establishing an ATP training by the partners in their region - Raising awareness with regard to employment of people with disabilities in the tourism sector
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5 Partners Participants