Italy: Manifesto for the Promotion of Accessible Tourism

Manifesto text

Manifesto for the Promotion of Accessible Tourism
Putting into effect art. 30 of UN Convention concerning disabled people
rights ratified by Law n.18 of 24/2/09

1. People in the most complete meaning of the term, with their specific needs resulting from personal and health conditions (for example: motor, sensory, intellectual disabilities, food intolerances, etc.), are citizens and customers who have the right to autonomously make good use of all the tourist services on offer, being supplied with suitable services with a just quality/price ratio.

2. Accessibility involves the whole tourist service chain, both at national and local level, starting with:
   a. Transport network;
   b. Accommodation capacity;
   c. Restaurants and cafés;
   d. Culture, leisure and sports.

3. Location accessibility shall not be the decisive factor when planning holidays: it should be possible to choose a destination or a tourist facility because it is where we want to go and not because it is the only accessible one.

4. It is necessary to think of accessibility as access to life experiences, that is overcoming the concept of "standard", enhancing the value of the person/customer, who has specific needs.

5. Information about accessibility cannot be reduced to a mere symbol, but has to be objective, detailed and guaranteed, to allow each person to certainly evaluate by himself which tourist facilities and services are able to meet his specific needs.

6. It is necessary to promote positive communication, avoiding the use of discriminating words. It has to be distributed in formats that everybody can use, and through all tourist information and promotion channels.

7. As accessibility does not concern only structural and infrastructural aspects, but also the services offered to tourists, it is necessary to promote quality reception for everybody, that is to encourage a cultural change, that can result in changes in organization and management models, even before structural ones.

8. It is necessary to encourage skill and professional training, based on Universal Design principles and involving the whole tourist and technical professional profile chain: managers, employees, companies, public and private enterprises. It is also necessary to update curricula in all Schools for Tourism, Technical Schools, Universities, Masters and Academic Centres of all grades.

9. Local Authorities, according to their competences and functions, shall implement the accessibility of towns, public buildings and local transports, and shall also plan periodical control and promotion operations for tourist offers for everyone.

10. In order to implement and promote accessible tourism in a system logic, proactive collaboration among tourist Operators, Local Authorities, Public Bodies, disabled people Associations and social tourism Organizations is encouraged.

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