The European Commission celbrated the ‘European Day of Persons with Disabilities’ and the ‘European Tourism Day’ with a joint conference on ‘Accessible Tourism in Europe’.
The main aim of the two-fold event was to raise awareness on the right of everybody to have equal access to tourism services and destinations. Some success stories and best practices in the field were presented at the conference to demonstrate what can be achieved.
Tourism is a major industry but travelling can still be a real challenge for people with disabilities. Things that should be simple such as: finding the information on services, checking luggage on a plane, booking an accessible room often prove to be difficult, costly and time consuming.
The conference, organised in a close collaboration with the European Disability Forum, took place on 3 and 4 December 2013 in Brussels, and attracted around 500 participants.
On the first day of the conference, the focus was on accessibility for tourists and residents from the users’ perspective. It continued on 4th December by looking at the practical, political and economic aspects of these issues, focusing on how to overcome barriers that are limiting the potential of a more open tourism sector.
The conference ended with a ceremony announcing the Access City Award for 2014.
We recognise the importance of accessibility, feeling accepted and having a variety of options. This is why our motto is ‘Boating Without Boundaries‘ and careful attention is paid to how our boats are adapted and the facilities we install on board. We are devoted to seeing the ability in disability.