This project addresses the need for greater understanding of the needs of people with disabilities in the tourism market. The market for this group of people offers both a challenge and an opportunity. Research has shown the huge potential for increased earnings in the tourism sector by meeting the needs of less mobile tourists who are often turned away because of lack of access to accommodation and restaurants. These challenges and opportunities can be met through education and vocational training that raises awareness of the barriers (i.e. social prejudice), encourages accommodation standards (in terms of accessibility and the provision of sensory aids) and develops techniques/actions to improve the quality of services provided. This project will create a transnational network to act as a centre of expertise on the issue of tourism and disability awareness. This partnership will be a forum of EU expertise and dissemination on tourism and disability awareness and good practice. It will produce 3reports on tourism and disability (needs, social perceptions, training needs and examples of good practice) and bring together existing EU knowledge of this area, disseminating the expertise to the widest possible audience. Dissemination will include a presentation to the European Parliament groups on tourism and disability, conferences, and publicity via the Holiday Care Service, which deals specifically with holiday enquiries from people with disabilities, the Job Rotation network and a web site.
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