The concept of the program is to create educational and training courses to help entrepreneurs in tourism and hospitality, training providers and generally any people who are associated with customer services to meet elderly needs and to promote inclusivity.

GROWMAT will be implemented by nine partners from different European countries, with a mix of skills and experiences in training of variable groups, such as elderly and entrepreneurs.

Accessibility Awareness


Objectives of GROWMAT


The main objectives of the program are:

-to deliver training through an entrepreneurial course and an accessibility awareness course,

-to open up the out – of – season market for older persons,

-to create co-operation between education, business, NGOs, social enterprises and charities,

-to create a business case for accessible tourism, to raise the profile of accessibility.

Business Opportunities


Target group of GROWMAT


The program targets:

-Entrepreneurs in tourism sector,

-Individuals and students working in hospitality and tourism,

-Training providers in Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism (or any Customer Services).



Innovation of GROWMAT


The innovation of the project comes from the mix of the skills of the partnership. Thus, a co-creation curriculum for the courses will be designed. Furthermore, new learning methods (e-learning platform) and activities relating to accessibility will underline the innovative approach of the program.




Currently more than million citizens in the European Union are aged between 55 and 80 years, representing about 25% of the total population. This change in demographics is increasing tourism demand which opens new and emerging markets. Recessions tend to hit younger workers harder than older. Indeed, EU youth unemployment is 24%, twice as high as the adult jobless rate. Nowadays, self-employment is often seen as a way out of unemployment. Many young people embark on entrepreneurship, with varying degrees of success. DG Enterprise and Industry (DG-ENTR) in 2012-2013 built a comprehensive picture of Accessible Tourism in the European Union. This research convinced the partners that there was an enormous potential to grow the market in Accessible Tourism, giving much needed work to young people, providing new business opportunities to new and existing entrepreneurs.

Main Objectives:

  1. To deliver training in inclusivity and accessibility
  2. A modular entrepreneurial course for new or business growth in accessible tourism, including social enterprises (e-learning)
  3. A short course on accessibility awareness which can be embedded into tourism and hospitality curriculum; also available to any business or NGO
  4. To open up the out-of-season market, in particular for older people
  5. To create cooperation between education, businesses, NGOs, social enterprises, charities and similar to raise awareness of accessibility and ensure that accessibility remains a prime interest
  6. To create a business case for accessible tourism
  7. To raise the profile of accessibility, via local, regional, national and pan-European networks; to find “champions” (ambassadors); creating an online network/forum; creating an evaluation product, AccAdvisor (an app similar to Trip Advisor relating to accessibility reviews).

Expected Results: 


  • Champions of accessibility, using the online network/forum
  • Integration of new practices, in particular in hospitality and tourism
  • A standard module for accessibility in hospitality and tourism curriculum which could be applied anywhere in Europe
  • An EU certificate as standard; an individual with this certificate should be regarded as an asset by their or potential employer
  • Awareness raised across all partners, their colleagues, teachers, other learners; training courses will be marketed. Learners on all of 3 modules – tourism and hospitality students, entrepreneurial courses, accessibility awareness seminars and workshops
  • People will be trained in accessibility; this can be added to equality and diversity curriculum for all training providers
  • Entrepreneurs opening new markets; economic development for the city, area, region
  • Creation of a new market thanks to older people who travel out-of-season
  • Modular course created and open online access at various levels, to the several modules
  • Online network/forum created
  • Quality mark and label; visibility and start of usage; to be continued as a sustainable output
  • Confidence raised by AccAdvisor, app which provide fair information and evaluation
  • Customer and service curriculum adapted to include accessibility awareness
  • Economic sector increased to include Accessible Tourism
  • AccAdvisor Quality Review system
  • App (web and/or mobile)