Conference on Accessible Tourism in Padul
Chema Nov. 23, 2018
In November 22nd, we participated together with the companions of La Ciudad Accesible and Wit Creativo in the Conference on Accessible Tourism organized by the City Council of Padul and Andalucia Emprende for entrepreneurs of the sector (full capacity). There was an interesting debate where the numerous challenges faced by accessible tourism appeared.
Three aspects of accessible tourism
The day was summed up in three talks given by professionals of the sector.
The first was given by Antonio Tejada, co-founder of La Ciudad Accesible and activist for the rights of people with functional diversity.
Under the name of "Accessible and comfortable intergenerational tourist destinations. Diversity and fragility as a business opportunity in the Andalusian tourism sector ", Antonio sent a clear message. Beyond the compliance with the law, accessibility brings added value and differential to your business. You have to see it as an opportunity and not just as a requirement to lift the blind of my business.
Then it was the turn of Rubén Buendía (Wit Creativo), expert in graphic design and development of landings pages for businesses.
His talk "Webs, apps and accessible merchandising" was an exhibition and review of the different aspects to take into account when we make or commission designs, so that, they can reach everyone, despite if the have a functional diversity.
His message is clear, not always an accessible website implies that it is visually simple.
In addition, messages must be simplified and synthesized to encourage easy reading. Useful for people with mental functional diversity and for everyone in general.
Accessible tourism with Outbarriers
The last talk was made by our CTO, JM Robles. With the title, "Smart and accessible rural tourism" the following aspects were covered:
- Accessible tourism is experiencing rapid growth. Practically 1 in 5 people suffers or has suffered some kind of disability in his life. However, 56% do not travel because they cannot find an adequate offer. It is estimated that the market size is € 300,000 M€.
- Accessibility as a value. Demonstration of how Outbarriers solutions add accessibility as a value for all people, adapting accessibility, commercial or other information to each person according to their needs.
- The public administrations must be the promoters. City councils, councils, businesses associations, etc. have to promote a strategic plan for accessible tourism and coordinate its execution. And it does not necessarily imply an economic outlay of public money.
Finally, the last action we took in collaboration with La Ciudad Accesible: Accessible Tourism in Pórtugos was put forward.
In this project, initiated by the City Council of Pórtugos, 22 Outbarriers have been placed at the entrance of public buildings and main points of interest.
Does this mean that Portugos is a town that exploits accessible tourism? We very much hope, but it does not.
This means that Portugos has started the execution of its strategic plan in search of universal accessibility and the promotion of accessible tourism.
But everything is to be done. Among other things, it is necessary to create an attractive offer for accessible tourism that will be the result of the sum of different individual actions between the town hall and the innkeepers.
And let us not forget the most important thing: professionals and neighbors. Training sessions on accessible tourism are necessary to teach how to treat this type of tourist and, above all, to promote empathy.
We will tell you how we are progressing.
The debate and conclusions
After the last talk, the question and debate session was opened.
The main important question was: why should the administration force me to make my business or house accessible if the town is not?
People go sightseeing because they want to see things and experience sensations. Sometimes the lodging itself can be so attractive that you do not need to look for anything else. But in general, a complete offer is sought.
As has been mentioned before, it is necessary that the City Council itself, the Provincial Council or equivalent organization help in the generation of this added value that ultimately affects the entire Town.
Pórtugos is a good example because here the City Council has been the promoter.
We hope that soon all villages will coordinate accessible tourism and it becomes a reality.
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