What is the state of the art of accessible tourism on a European and local level? What are policy makers, authorities and organizations doing to improve the situation? And what is the role of education such as the Tour4All course in this process?
On the 6th of September, the Tour4All partnership organized the final conference in Brussels. The event, hosted by Ms. Madi Sharma at European Economic Social Committee in Brussels, managed to put together different stakeholders, policy makers and partners of the project, and give a better understanding of the current state of policies and good practices in the field of accessible tourism. The project coordinator, Nuno Martins (CEPROF), presented the project and its relevance, after which experts from the field gave their contribution to the topic in form of a panel discussion. It became clear that on different levels, authorities and organizations do their best to improve the tourism sector to include better tourists with different types of disabilities. The interventions were inspiring and left the audience with new knowledge on the current state, a higher awareness of what tourists with a disability face in today’s world, and left with a positive look for the future.
After this successful conference in Brussels, it was no the turn for a more local point of view on accessible tourism. On the 13th of September 2018, the CSC Danilo Dolci organized the final event for the project “Tour4All: development of curricula on accessible tourism” in Palermo under the name: Accessible Tourism: between education and local needs. The event took place at Magneti-Cowork, a co-working space in the city centre which organizes different side events, including on alternative tourism.
The municipality of Palermo, representatives from the tourism sector, organizations active within accessible tourism, and other interested parties made up the public. After the presentation of the project and its results in the recently concluded piloting by the coordinator and project manager of the project, Alberto Biondo and Vidjaya Thelen, the event took the form of a panel discussion on the topic of accessible tourism at Palermo, focussing on the importance of training and the territorial needs.
The audience could see and hear about the different good practices and the hard work of people in Palermo for a more accessible city. Interventions were done by
- Marco Mancini of the office of tourism promotion within the municipality of Palermo, on their work and research within the field of Accessible Tourism in Palermo (https://turismo.comune.palermo.it/) ;
- Antonella Balistreri and her work on increasing the awareness on disability and her efforts in getting different institutional organizations together to improve the accessibly of the city (https://www.facebook.com/fondazionevilladelleginestre/);
- Catarina Gambino, from Sicilia Turismo per tutti, on an accessibile beach restaurant (https://www.facebook.com/siciliaturismopertutti/)
- Annalisa Riggio and her start-up on accessible accommodation bookable and promoted online (https://it.bookingbility.com/);
- Di Maria of the Tourism and Hospitality high school and one of his students who participated in the piloting (https://www.ipssarpaoloborsellino.gov.it/).
The event was a great success as a moment of bringing together some of the efforts that are being done at Palermo by different people and institutions, and from different angles. The interventions ended with a word of gratitude of the municipality and the school for the efforts and materials developed within the project, and a commitment to disseminate the online course further through their networks. During the drink that followed the official part of the event, participants and guest speakers mingled and discussed topics even further, leaving everyone with new ideas and contacts for future collaborations.
The event has shown the will and motivation of people, organizations and institutions to work on accessibility, and the usefulness of an online course on this topic. Although there is still work to be done, this event was a positive sign for the future and a successful closure of the project!
From now onwards, the course is available online in all partner language, free for personal or educational use. For registration and subscription, click here. (http://tour4all.org/training-platform/). For more information about the course, do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour4All is financed by Erasmus+ Programme – Key Action 2: Strategic Partnership|VET.
The project is enriched by the collaboration of a diverse partnership composed by 9 partners:
- CEPROF – Centros Escolares de Ensino Profissional, Lda(Portugal, coordinator);
- INOVA+ Servicos De Consultadoria Em Inovacao Tecnologica S.A.(Portugal);
- IHK – Projektgesellschaft GmbH(Germany);
- European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training – EfVET(Belgium);
- Fondazione M.E.T.A Musei Eventi Turismo Alghero(Italy);
- Stage Within European Programmes, S.L.(Spain);
- Ovar Forma – Ensino e Formação Lda(Portugal);
- The Lithuanian Association of People with Disabilities(Lithuania);
- Centro Per Lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Italy).
For further information, please contact Vidjaya Thelen, email@example.com.