Brussels, 26 June 2018. VisitFlanders, the tourism authority of the Flemish Region of Belgium, hosted a gathering of tourism organisations and professionals at the launch of the new World Tourism for All Quality Programme.
Photo (Chris Veitch, ENAT): Kathleen Linehan, Gleneagle Group, receives the first three Accreditation certificates for the Maritime Hotel, The Brehon and the Gleneagle Hotel from ENAT President, Anna Grazia Laura. From left to right: Paudie Healy, Universal Access, Ireland, Katerina Papamichail, Architect, ENAT, Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director, ENAT, Anna Grazia Laura, President, ENAT, Kathleen Linehan, HR and Employee Relations Manager, Gleneagle Group, Killarney, Ireland, Girma Anuskeviciute, Policy Officer, European Commission Tourism Unit, Linda Campbell, Registrar, Enterprise & Hospitality Development Officer, Failte Ireland.
Behind the programme is the non-profit association, European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), which works with businesses, destinations and tourist boards, helping them to provide high levels of service for tourists who need good access when travelling. Senior travellers, families with small children and persons with disabilities will especially benefit from the new programme.
Introducing the World Quality Programme, ENAT’s Managing Director, Ivor Ambrose stated: We have designed this accreditation programme in response to the tourism industry’s demand for a global certification system with clear access standards that visitors with access requirements demand and businesses can deliver. The new scheme will give prominence to accredited businesses, attractions and other tourism providers who offer secure, comfortable and accessible services for all visitors.
Accredited providers' profiles will be displayed online in The Accessible Tourism Directory at https://Pantou.org and promoted across ENAT's media channels and at tourism events.
At launch event, attended by representatives of the European Commission, the European Travel Commission, several Tourist Boards and destination management organisations, the first World Tourism For All Quality Certificates were awarded by ENAT President Anna Grazia Laura to The Maritime Hotel, Bantry, The Brehon, Killarney and The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney.
About the Quality Programme
ENAT’s Quality Programme is designed to support sustainable, responsible and accessible tourism in line with the goals and principles of The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism promoted by the UN World Tourism Organisation and incorporates criteria from global standards and good practices that have been identified from extensive testing with visitors and tourism businesses in Europe.
Participating tourism operators are introduced to a guided pathway leading to the World Tourism for All Quality Programme Accreditation, recognising their commitment to access for all, enhancing staff competence and ensuring first-class customer service. Adopting a holistic approach, ENAT's Quality Programme includes management and staff training, Web accessibility assessment and guidance, facility access audits, access plans and marketing.
Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Belgium will be the first countries to offer the Quality Programme, starting with hotels and the accommodation sector. As the scheme is rolled out it will be expanded to include restaurants, cafes, retail premises and tourist attractions.
The Quality Programme will be delivered solely through ENAT’s licenced agents, including Universal Access, Ireland, PREDIF and ILUNION, Spain and other ENAT Full Members as other countries come on stream, under the authority of ENAT’s Supervisory Board.
Further details about the programme will be published at the ENAT and Pantou websites shortly.