Pantou: Chris, congratulations on being appointed as the UK Government’s "Disability Champion” for the tourism sector. What would you say are the main challenges facing the industry?
Accessible Madrid is a privately-owned business that has been managing and supporting disabled holiday tours and programmes in Madrid, Spain since 2013.
We create barrier-free holidays for people with physical disabilities or reduced mobility and their families. Accessible Madrid is an Accredited Tourism Business and a member ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism).
We are dedicated to providing our clients with a hassle-free and enjoyable travel experience when they travel to Spain. As part of our broad range of services for disabled travellers visiting Madrid, we offer Personal Assistance Services (PAS).
Since 1999, ReadSpeaker has developed text-to-speech solutions to bridge the digital divide and make online content accessible to a broader audience. It is an easy-to-use and practical complement to organic web accessibility, a requirement for many organizations.
ReadSpeaker Enterprise Highlighting instantly creates an audio version of the text on websites and mobile applications for those with low vision, learning disabilities such as dyslexia, senior citizens, and others who are on-the-go and would prefer to listen from their portable device. For example, tourism websites that are speech-enabled by ReadSpeaker offer another way of accessing information about a destination, and it also helps to hear the names of cities or monuments that you might not otherwise know how to pronounce. As with everything that improves accessibility, it can potentially help everyone.
As part of its missions, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau pursues a policy that consists of developing tourism in Paris that is adapted to everyone, of making it more attractive, and of making it easier for people with disabilities to come to Paris. In order to do this:
Do you want to grow your accessible tourism business? Do you want to understand more about the market of disabled people who travel? Do you want to create messages that resonate with them? This offer is for you.
European Network of Accessible Tourism partner, Martyn Sibley, has spent his whole professional life using digital marketing strategies to support disabled people. Having faced the many difficulties in this field he has co founded Disability Horizons, Accomable and Accessible Traveller (plus he's advised multiple travel, media, charity and technology organisations).
Now Martyn has teamed up with Pantou.org - The European Accessible Tourism Directory, to deliver a one-hour webinar on his top digital marketing tips. In only one hour you can gain a better understanding about:
In the past, travelling from point A to B could be a tiresome enough job, let alone traveling abroad.
Today, wheelchair users and other travellers with disabilities have the chance to travel overseas, set sail on a cruise or take a drive across country to Grandmother's house. However, disabled vacationers surely recognise that there'll still be additional challenges while travelling.
Mobile travel apps can significantly improve a travel experience for disabled travellers by providing information about accessible transportation, accessible city attractions, museum access guides, etc.
The problem is that both iOS and Android do not allow simple and intuitive search of travel apps for cities and countries.
In November 2015 Hotel “City” hosted a delegation from ENAT and took part in the 3rd International Conference "Accessible Tourism – for Social Inclusion and Economic Development" in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was held under the auspices of the Tbilisi City Hall, with the support of the Georgian National Tourist Authority. It was organised by the NGO “Accessible Tourism Center PARSA”.
ENAT and NGO PARSA had previously held International conferences and training sessions in Georgia on the theme of Accessible Tourism, thanks to a grant from the European Commission’s EuropeAid programme.
Since Lonely Planet recommended Transylvania as one of the best places in the world to travel in 2016, Romania has become a travel destination on the bucket list of many tourists. As far as people with special needs are concerned, the question arising is: Has the travel and leisure industry in Romania adapted to this growing market? The answer is yes, Romania has changed in mentality and some of the tourism logistics have improved. Yet, accessible tours should be made with the support of local travel companies.
Pantou: Martyn, what do you do for a living – how would you describe yourself?
Infographics are on an upward trend on TV and media, but often not accessible to visually impaired readers. It is therefore important to keep alternative formats in mind