The aim of this two-fold event was to raise awareness on the right of everybody to have equal access to tourism services and destinations and to present some success stories and best practices in the field.
Tourism is an important source of growth for the economy in Europe, representing today 1.8 million businesses and approximately 9.7 million jobs. However, travelling can still be a real challenge for some people 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 was part of the EU’s wider efforts to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues in line with the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
On 3 December the discussion took a closer look at access and accessibility for tourists and residents from the users' perspective. The conference showed examples of good practices of Tourism for All, and possible solutions for the obstacles most frequently encountered.
On 4 December the conference covered the practical, political and economic aspects of these issues, focusing on how to overcome barriers that are limiting the potential of a more open Europe to international tourism and benefit from the tourism industry.
Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industrial Policy, concluded the joint event on 4th December.