World Tourism Day 27th September 201627/09/2016
July 2016 marked the launch of ‘visits4u’, an 18 month project that will develop and deliver inclusive tourism training and capacity building to improve user experience and sustain inclusive design in tourism. The theme resonates the message of this year’s World Tourism Day on 27th September, which focuses on ‘Tourism for all – promoting universal accessibility'.
The rationale behind the project derives from relevant research and developments across Europe showing that staff attitude is ranked as a key factor for an enjoyable experience. The quality and availability of the right information to visitors are both considered equally important. visits4u will, therefore, aim to address better customer satisfaction under the inclusive tourism narrative, focusing on enhancing staff skills and improving information accessibility. This will be implemented through training, seminars for local tourism companies, case studies - demonstrating that access means good business - and toolkits to help embed inclusive practices in the field.
The action is structured in four Work Packages:
- Capacity Building: delivery of tailored training and mentoring support for partners and local tourism industry staff, entrepreneurs and SMEs, and development of a training module on inclusive tourism with selected training institutions and universities.
- Research and Itinerary Design: mapping the current state of provision and present an updated profile of accessibility and tourism in the partners’ region.
- Product Development and Implementation: development of tourism packages in Greece, Latvia and Spain based on two themes: modern art and history. Eventually information on these products will also be made available in Sign Language and Easy Read formats.
- Dissemination and Evaluation: promotion of the tourist products and sharing of the project results at the final conference in Latvia.
visits4u comprises seven partners from six countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Spain and the UK. The consortium provides a good practice model as it brings together stakeholders and SME’s from the broader tourism sector, organisations with expertise in inclusive environments and a public authority. This model offers an example for a sustainable and cost-effective support mechanism for the sector, where community and disability organisations can offer ongoing engagement with tourism businesses and advice on potential barriers; at the same time public authorities can actively help standardise the provision of inclusive tourism services in their region.
By the end of the project in each partnering country, visits4u aims to establish stronger networks of tourism businesses alongside increased confidence, knowledge and commitment to making their services more accessible and, as a result, eventually more sustainable.
Lead partner/coordinator: Centre for Accessible Environments (United Kingdom)
- Asklipiades South Aegean Regional Social Protection and Solidarity Network (Greece) www.pwdservices.gr
- Dimos Rodou (Municipality of Rhodes, Greece) www.rhodes.gr
- DomSpain Consulting LTD (Spain) www.domspain.eu
- Istituto dei Sordi di Torino (Italy) www.istitutosorditorino.org
- Nikanor LTD (Bulgaria) www.nikanor.bg
- Nodibinajums Invalidu un Vinu Draugu Apvieniba Apeirons (Latvia) www.apeirons.lv
Call: COS – TOUR – 2015 – 3 – 04 – 1
Start/End dates: July 2016 – December 2017
For more details go to: www.visits4u.eu