Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Accessible tourism in Europe

Accessible tourism in Europe
Published on: 06/11/2013
The European Commission - DG Justice and DG Enterprise and Industry – celebrated on 3 and 4 December 2013, the "European Day of Persons with Disabilities" and the "European Tourism Day" 2013 with the Joint Conference on “Accessible Tourism in Europe”
Event date: 03/12/2013 to 04/12/2013
Location: Building Charlemagne, Rue de la loi 170 - 1000 Brussels - Belgium
Organiser: European Commission

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.

Ms. Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, chaired the Access City Award 2014 (web archive) on 3rd December. (more on Access City Awards)

Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industrial Policy, concluded the joint event on 4th December.