On October 31 in CDEA Centre, the Errotu company (architecture for the design of personalized therapeutic environments) and Hotel Advisor Consulting (management, marketing and hotel counselling) today organized a conference on Accessible Tourism in the CDEA facilities. The objective of the meeting was to share the good practices of the European GROWMAT ‘Growing the market in accessible tourism’ Project (2016-2019) coordinated by CDEA together with training centres in England, Belgium, Slovenia, Finland and Greece.
Accessible tourism means inclusive tourism, that is, for all people whether they have functional diversity due to mobility, hearing, sight, cognitive, intellectual or psychosocial reasons, as well as for the elderly or those with temporary functional diversity.
The GROWMAT project, for its part, aims to create training courses in accessible tourism; promote alternatives to expand tourism out of season and create cooperation networks between education, business, NGOs and social enterprises.
During the day, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm, Paloma Enríquez and Mª José Irastorza from CDEA took part; Guillaume Fontagné, from Hotel Advisor Consulting; Mª José Moreno, from Errotu; Asier Landa and Zuriñe de Anzola, from Bask for all (“Tourism for all people”); Luis Casado, from the Iddeas Foundation for Inclusive Marketing; Graciela Imaz, from SECOT (Association of Seniors for Technical Cooperation); Koldo Aulestia, of AFAGI (Association of Relatives and Friends of People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias of Gipuzkoa); Norma Andrade, from ELKARTU (Coordinator of People with Physical Disability of Gipuzkoa); Xabier Eleizegi and Josu Maroto, from the Diputación de Gipuzkoa; Isabel Aguirrezabal, from the City Council of Donostia – San Sebastián; Fernando Soto, from the Zenit Hotel in San Sebastián, and Kino Martínez, from the Hospitality Association of San Sebastián.
Companies, institutions and associations have discussed the situation of Accessible Tourism in Gipuzkoa and have concluded that, although the situation is much better than in other areas, there is still much to improve and to raise awareness and, also, it is necessary to give visibility to all those initiatives that are made and that are not reported. In addition, as Zuriñe de Anzola of Bask For All has pointed out, “many times, although the Administration puts measures in favour of people with functional diversity, it is the people who have to learn to interact with people with different needs”.
With this event, we also wanted to raise awareness among workers and future hotel and tourism entrepreneurs in the need to create new business opportunities in the accessible tourism sector, the extension of seasonality and meet the needs of everybody.