Policies and measures to promote universal accessibility in tourism will be at the center of the 1st UNWTO European Conference on Accessible Tourism, jointly organized by UNWTO and the Government of the Republic of San Marino on 19 November 2014.
The conference will be addressing how to maintain and develop quality, sustainability and competitiveness in accessible tourism.
In signing the agreement at the sidelines of the ITB Berlin exhibition in March with Teodoro Lonfernini, Minister of Tourism and Relations with Public Utilities State Corporation of San Marino, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, underscored how “accessible tourism benefits everyone and advancing the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities should be seen as an opportunity as well as an obligation; UNWTO and the Republic of San Marino are both deeply committed to taking concrete action in this area.”
According to the World Health Organization, 15 percent of the world population has a physical, mental or sensory disability.
In its efforts to mainstream universal accessibility within the tourism sector, UNWTO works closely with Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs). In 2013, the General Assembly adopted the Recommendations on Accessible Tourism for All which incorporate the most relevant aspects of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and Universal Design.
Accessible Tourism for All defines the appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications and facilities open to the public or for public use.
The 1st UNWTO European Conference on Accessible Tourism will be held in San Marino alongside the 14th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE), which recently declared accessible tourism for all one of its top priorities.