VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 9 CATEGORY: Recreation & Outdoors POSTED ON: 4/2/2011
Millions of disabled people are passionate travelers. However, they need to overcome numerous troubles because of the lack of attention tourism stakeholders pay to this group of globetrotters. Accessible tourism is still vastly untapped market.
ETHICAL Accessible World of TrAvel Millions of disabled people are passionate travelers. However, they need to overcome numer- ous troubles because of the lack of attention tourism stakehold- ers pay to this group of globe- trotters. accessible tourism is still vastly untapped market. ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l disabled travel in are less accessible but can be visited in a wheelchair. The top accessible European destinations, eurOPe – yOur first triP London and berlin, have plenty of accessible sights to see, and minimal language barriers for English speakers. both cities were heavily bombed during world war II and now have few cobblestones, and many hotels are housed in modern buildings with accessible entrances and bathrooms. London and berlin both have very few hills as well as building code acces- sibility standards that have resulted in almost all of the tourist attractions being wheelchair accessible. when visiting London, there’s at least two weeks worth of attractions to see. Most muse- ums have excellent accessibility including the british Museum, the national gallery, the Cabinet war Rooms, the Tate Modern, and the Imperial war Museum. The most popular churches, westminster abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, are both accessible to disabled tourists. wheelchair users are able to get great views of the city from the London Eye or one of the boat tours departing near westminster bridge. The Tower of London is minimally acces- sible with about 80% of it requiring ascending stairs and the other 20% of it requiring going over cobblestones. getting around London in a wheelchair is quite easy with essentially all of the busses You may have taken a few trips with your dis- There are several issues to consider before having wheelchair ramps and a fleet of acces- ability, and now you’re up for taking a trip to taking your first disabled trip to Europe. sible taxis. Every taxi has a ramp, and wheel- Europe. How difficult will it be? where can you Perhaps the most important is deciding on chair users can stay in their chair. find accessible hotels? are the tourist attrac- a destination. If you have a disability, your berlin is another accessible European city, tions wheelchair accessible? are the busses, best options for a first trip to Europe are and perhaps the best destination in the world trains, and taxis accessible? London or berlin. Paris, Rome, and Venice februar y, 2011 — 29 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l for 20th century history. numerous historical locations can be visited in a wheelchair includ- ing the berlin wall, the brandenburg gate, the Reichstag, and Checkpoint Charlie. Excellent accessible museums also exist in berlin includ- ing the german History Museum, the gemäl- dergalerie art museum, the jewish Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the Egyptian Museum, and the Museum of the wall at Checkpoint Charlie. Most public bus lines are accessible and the #100 and #200 lines are particularly useful for tourists. a majority of u-bahn sta- tions are accessible via elevators. Other popular European destinations are not as accessible as London and berlin. The center of Paris is primarily made up of 19th century buildings, and many museums and hotels are housed in these old buildings with few being made fully accessible. Fully accessible muse- ums include the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre, Sainte-Chapelle, the jewish art and History Museum, and Les Invalides. Several other tourist attractions have certain areas that are not accessible including the Eiffel Tower, the dock and the boat is generally less than the you can avoid time standing in line by taking a Musée Rodin, notre-Dame, the Marmottan height of a curb. Disabled travelers should do a guided tour. accessible bus and subway lines in Monet Museum, and the Carnavalet Museum. good bit of research before visiting Venice. Rome are few. The Louvre Museum is accessible but requires Rome is called the city of seven hills for a rea- while accessibility challenges exist in Europe, navigating a maze of elevators and wheelchair son. Many Roman streets and sidewalks have disabled travelers can certainly enjoy accessi- lifts. The arc de Triomphe, the Cluny Museum, inclines to them, and many Roman plazas have ble holidays throughout Europe. be sure to do and the Panthéon have many steps without cobblestones. Some sidewalks near the Span- the proper accessibility research before your wheelchair ramps. ish Steps and the borghese gardens would be trip or hire a disabled travel agent who special- Surprising to many people, Venice can be vis- very difficult for wheelchair users to ascend. izes in accessible holidays. afterwards, you can ited in a wheelchair. wheelchair users will not Historical ruins including the Roman Forum arrive knowing what challenges may be in your be able to visit all parts of the city, but several and Colosseum can be visited by disabled tour- path and how to get around them. bon voyage! accessible neighborhoods can be visited by ists, while several other ruins including the using the vaparetto boats to travel between Palatine Hill are inaccessible. The Vatican com- By John Sage neighborhoods. The height difference between plex is generally accessible and, like all tourists, http://www.SageTraveling.com februar y, 2011 — 30 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l avila: tHe access city Of 2011 Royal Highness Princess astrid of belgium pre- sented the award at a ceremony in brussels on the occasion of the European Day of People with Disabilities (3 December). It is one of the actions under the Commission's new strategy for a barrier-free Europe for disabled people. "I would like to congratulate avila and the other finalist cities for their commitment to a barrier-free urban environment," said Vice- President Viviane Reding, the Eu’s justice Commissioner. "People with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else, but acces- sibility is a precondition for them to enjoy those rights. That is why we have placed it at the centre of our strategy for building a bar- Avila, a Spanish city known for its medieval rier-free Europe. The access City award gives The Commission launched the competition walls, won the first-ever European award for recognition to those cities which have shown for the first access City award in july 2010. Eu improving access for people with disabilities. the most effort to improving accessibility. This cities with over 50,000 people, of which there The European Commission awarded avila in honour should inspire and motivate cities that are just over 1000, could submit applications. December the access City award 2011. The still have more progress to make." The Commission reviewed 66 eligible applica- annual honour aims to award efforts to improve The access City award aims to promote tions from 19 Member States. accessibility in the urban environment and to accessibility initiatives in European cities. It foster equal participation of people with dis- a Europe-wide jury then selected four final- recognises efforts and achievements in improv- ists: avila, barcelona (Spain), Cologne (ger- abilities. ing accessibility in four main areas: the built many) and Turku (Finland). The other three The Commission praised avila’s plan, devel- environment and public spaces; transport and related infrastructures; information and com- finalists have also developed comprehensive oped since 2002, to improve accessibility to public buildings and to give incentives for pri- munication (including information and com- plans to address accessibility in the competi- vate initiatives. It has also developed accessi- munication technologies); and public facilities tion’s four areas: ble tourism facilities and improved job oppor- and services. barcelona follows a “design for all” approach tunities for people with disabilities – working The European jury selected avila because of to improving accessibility with a strong focus directly with disabled and elderly people's its comprehensive plan, the high level of politi- on the built environment and transport facili- organisations. cal commitment, the progress achieved so far, ties, including accessible ticketing machines Commission Vice-President Viviane Red- and the effective involvement of people with designed with the involvement of disabled ing, the Eu’s justice Commissioner, and Her disabilities in the process. people. februar y, 2011 — 31 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l Cologne has shown a strong political com- with a strong involvement of people with mitment to improving accessibility since 2004, disabilities for a smaller historical city con- involving a wide range of city departments fronted with challenging conditions for with clear responsibilities and extensive coor- accessibility, particularly in the built environ- dination, including special training for design- ment. ers in city departments and building supervi- sion employees. Turku's comprehensive accessibility pro- http://www.accesscityaward.eu gramme constitutes an effective strategy http://europa.eu februar y, 2011 — 32 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l tOurism neW zealand is still ignOring tHe Older market Tourism New Zealand, which markets nz to increased domestic tourism activity will be in the world, continues to ignore the older mar- the 50+ age group, and the only increase in ket. at least, that is what it seems like on look- dollar value will be in the 60+ age group. why ing at the three videos being used in their lat- is new zealand not targeting this growing est marketing campaign (“100% Pure you”) demographic by having at least some older in australia. The videos feature three young models in the video promotions released in women, a young couple, and a young father australia? with his son. not a silver hair in sight. This in Tourism new zealand intends to broaden this spite of the fact that according to the research campaign to other countries. Populations are figures of access Tourism new zealand, almost ageing in our other traditional target markets 50% of visitors in and to new zealand are also. In the uK for example, it is estimated that 45 and older. It is also in spite of the fact that the population of those 65 or older will grow the demographic reality is that populations from 16% currently to 23% by 2034, while in are ageing worldwide. In australia for exam- the uSa, more than 7000 will turn 65 every day ple, nz’s most important international market for the next 20 years. In japan, the population and the one this campaign is initially aimed at, over 65 is currently 22% or about 27 million, the only age group increasing is that of people those aged 61 to 63 number 18 million (Invest 65 or older, baby boomers are turning 65 at japan), and ageing in japan is happening at the rate of 200,000 a year, and the population a greater rate than elsewhere (Reuters). The over 65 is predicted to double over the next mean and median age in years is about 44.5 40 years. (IPSS). according to an article in the nikkei last and it is older australians who are predicted year, japanese aged 60-70 are emerging as an by social researchers to be the ones who will important source of economic vitality, as they spend on travel. In caravan parks around the are proving to be active spenders keen on mak- country they are known as the SKI Club – ing the most of their post-retirement years (Sil- Spending the Kids’ Inheritance – and their ver group asia). Data clearly shows that older vans have bumper stickers saying exactly that. consumers are more eager to spend than those In fact, in a 2009 report informing the aus- younger than them. tralian national long-term tourism strategy, it Even in markets that Tourism new zealand is predicted that to 2030, the only source of has only recently begun to turn their attention februar y, 2011 — 33 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l to, like China and South america, populations are ageing. when will new zealand begin to consistently appeal to the older demographic in these markets by at least showing them in its promotions? Surely it is an economic imper- ative to do so in order to maintain a sustain- able tourism industry. press release services By Sandra Rhodda Director, Access Tourism New Zealand, and Research Programme Leader Access Tourism, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz februar y, 2011 — 34 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l disability: eu PrOmises 'accessibility act' in 2012 European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding told MEPs at the beginning of january that she will present a proposal for a 'European accessibility act' before the end of 2012. This new legislation is seen by the Commission as a key element of the European Disability Strat- egy, which was unveiled last year. The Eu executive is getting ready to launch a major study that will identify and analyse the barriers which prevent people with disabilities from making full use of public buildings, trans- port and all kinds of services. The results of this study will provide the basis for developing new Eu legislation on accessibility standards. Vice-President Reding spoke about the overall goals and scope of the 'European accessibility act' when she addressed a spe- cial meeting of the Disability Intergroup in the European Parliament, which took place in brussels. The meeting was attended by MEPs and by organisations representing people with disabilities. "I will work hard to get all the actors on board to make sure that products and services, pub- lic buildings and spaces become more acces- sible to all our citizens, and to this end we will launch a study to identify the issues at stake," promised Reding. "based on this study I will propose an acces- sibility act in 2012. I know that I can count on februar y, 2011 — 35 — ETHICAL ac c e s s i b l e Wo r l d o f tr a v e l learn from this positive experience and go background ahead in Europe too," she said. According to official statistics, 80 million people in the European Union (or one out of every six neW legal frameWOrk citizens) are affected by some kind of disabil- ity. The EU Directive on ‘equal treatment in Reding noted that the Lisbon Treaty pro- employment and occupation’ entered into force vides a legal basis for main-streaming disabil- on 2 December 2000, and makes it illegal for ity issues into other policies, and also gives a employers to discriminate against people with legal status to the Eu’s Charter of Fundamen- disabilities. tal Rights. In this new framework, the Commis- sion is obliged to make sure that the needs of people with disabilities are taken into account the European Parliament to support this cru- To make the most of these opportunities, the during the development and implementation cial issue," she said. Commission will develop common standards of all Eu policies and legislation. for ICT (information and communication tech- another important development is that the nologies), the built environment and product European union has recently concluded the cHallenges and OPPOrtunities design. process of ratifying the united nations Conven- Currently there are some 80 million people tion on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Reding hopes that it will be possible to agree with various kinds of disabilities in the Euro- This is the first comprehensive human rights on common standards not only at European pean union, but this number is expected to treaty to be ratified by the Eu as a whole. level, but also in cooperation with other major increase in the coming years, mainly as a result Reding explained that the Commission will players in the global economy. of the growing proportion of older citizens in be responsible for coordinating and monitor- the population. "we should work with our partners on other ing the implementation of the un Convention Reding is determined that the Eu should try continents in order to get global standards at the level of the European union, in cooper- to be a world leader in developing products and being put in place," said Reding. "we have ation with the other Eu institutions and also services that are accessible to people with dis- already started to do so with the united States, with the member states. abilities. "Europe should become an exporter and with other partners at international level, all the Eu's 27 member states have signed of those goods and services," she said. and in the end we hope that will bring coher- the un Convention on the Rights of Persons ence into our standards." with Disabilities, and most of them (16) have The vice-president believes this is important not just for ensuring fundamental rights and The Commission vice-president cited prog- already ratified it. equal opportunities, but also as a way of cre- ress made in the uSa under the provisions of ating jobs and growth by taking advantage of the 'americans with Disabilities act', which has growing market opportunities. been in force since 1990. "I think we should http://www.euractiv.com februar y, 2011 — 36 —
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