UNWTO, ONCE Foundation and PREDIF join forces to promote Accessible Tourism at FITUR 2015
PR No.: 15009
The three entities jointly organized the ‘Technology at the Service of Tourism for All’ event at the Madrid International Tourism Fair (Madrid, 29 January 2015)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the ONCE Foundation and the Representative State Platform for Persons with Physical Disabilities (PREDIF) organized on Thursday the ‘Technology at the Service of Tourism for All’ event in the context of the FITUR, the International Tourism Fair of Madrid.
The event featured representatives of the tourism sector, experts in the development of new technologies, and various organizations from the disability sector, who shared their knowledge and experience in the field of accessible tourism and smart destinations.
The event, with journalist and president of the Social Image Commission of CERMI Antonio Ledesma acting as master of ceremonies, opened with remarks by Tatiana Martínez, Deputy Director-General for Development and Sustainability of the State Secretariat of Tourism, Santiago Moreno, Director of the Vodafone Spain Foundation, Francisco Sardón Peláez, President of PREDIF, José Luis Martínez Donoso, General Director of the ONCE Foundation, and Marcio Favilla L. de Paula, Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations of the UNWTO.
Marcio Favilla recalled that in the world “there are 1 billion persons with disabilities”, for whom travel “entails overcoming obstacles”. He stated that for the UNWTO, tourism “is a human right and should be enjoyed by all”, pointing out that, in 2013, its General Assembly adopted a series of recommendations and produced a Manual on Accessible Tourism for All, together with ACS, the ONCE Foundation and ENAT.
For his part, Francisco Sardón said that PREDIF, as a representative body of persons with physical disabilities, works towards ensuring that accessibility is integrated in all policies. As he explained, accessibility “is synonymous with tourism quality” and that “all persons, with or without disability” benefit from it.
Similarly, Martínez Donoso recalled the importance of tourism as a social phenomenon “from which we persons with disabilities cannot be excluded”. In this regard, the General Director of the ONCE Foundation added: “Accessibility is a pending issue that also represents a great business opportunity for the industry.”
In her remarks, Tatiana Martínez said that the State Secretariat was working “to integrate accessibility in a transversal manner in all projects”. “We want our entire tourism chain to be accessible,” she said, as this not only “favours de-seasonalization” but also “increases market share” and “enhances the image of destinations”.
Santiago Moreno said that it was “just as important to remove barriers as it is to make it known that there are no such barriers”, which is the reason why the Vodafone Spain Foundation is devoting its efforts to “create applications that improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities”, such as TUR4all, the accessible tourism application that was developed together with PREDIF.
During the event, a round table discussion was held on international good practices with the participation of Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director of the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and Roberto Vitali, President of Village for All (V4A).
Following the round table, a technical panel was held to analyse the role of technology in the accessibility chain in Spanish tourism, with the participation of Jon Cortina representing travel ILUNIÓN Viajes, Emilio García, Director of R&D&I of Patentes Talgo, and Mari Satur Torre, Innovation Manager of the Vodafone Spain Foundation.
Enlaces de interés
UNWTO Senior Media Office: Marcelo Risi
Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60
PREDIF, the Representative State Platform for Persons with Physical Disabilities, is a non-profit public interest organization operating at the state level, which represents, conducts programmes and promotes actions for the benefit of more than 50,000 persons who have major physical disabilities. It has over 30 years of experience through its member federations ASPAYM, COAMIFICOA and ECOM, and its autonomous-community chapters: PREDIF Asturias, PREDIF Baleares, PREDIF Galicia and PREDIF Castilla y León.. PREDIF is a leader in accessible tourism and currently holds the chairmanship of the Committee on Inclusive Tourism and Leisure of CERMI. Its protocols and standards in the field of accessibility are backed by the consensus of the entire disability sector.
The ONCE Foundation for Cooperation and Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities was established in 1988 as ONCE’s instrument of solidarity with other groups of persons with disabilities, with the aim of improving their living conditions.This aim is pursued through labour market inclusion programmes and training, as well as the dissemination of the concept of universal accessibility, promoting the creation of universally accessible environments, products and services. In 2013 the ONCE Foundation celebrated the 25th anniversary of its existence, over the course of which it has managed to generate over 80,000 jobs for persons with disabilities. Today, ONCE and its Foundation remain committed to their primary purpose: the social and labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities.