DESTINATIONS FOR ALL:
A Global Summit in Montréal in October 2014
Montreal, May 16, 2012
The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to climb to one billion in 2012. Persons with physical limitations account for roughly 15% of the population and this number should continue to rise given the aging demographic. Like everyone else, people with disabilities travel for business and pleasure, to visit friends and relatives, and to discover other ways of life, just with slightly greater difficulty.
How do we accommodate tourists with handicaps? Are our infrastructures, buildings and establishments adapted to be easily accessible to all? Can we safely aspire to reach international accessibility standards and benchmarks? Do "accessible" rooms in Montréal and elsewhere around the globe live up to the world traveller's expectations? How can a handicapped person be sure his or her chosen destination is truly accessible? Is our front-line staff properly trained to host these guests and provide appropriate services? Which best practices from the tourism, culture and transportation industries should be considered model practices? What measures should these industries take to substantially facilitate handicapped individuals' participation in cultural and tourist activities?
Those are just some of the questions that will be discussed at the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit that is set to take place in Montréal from October 19 to 22, 2014. The Summit's sub-heading expresses the actual scope of the topic at hand:
TOURISM, CULTURE AND TRANSPORTATION: COMMON STRATEGY AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
In fact, the major sector-based organizations from the tourism, culture and transportation industries will be invited to unveil at least two changes they undertake to make to significantly improve travel and tourism conditions for persons with disabilities. This Global Summit should also prompt partners to join in an effort to make accessibility benchmarks and standards uniform across tourist establishments, attractions and transportation services.
The Summit will be organized by a steering committee comprising representatives of the organizations most active in promoting tourism accessibility globally, namely:
- The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)
- The European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
- Tourisme et Handicaps – France
- Fundación ONCE – Spain
- Access Tourism New Zealand
- The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH) – USA
- Transport Canada's Transportation Development Centre
- The Ministère du Tourisme du Québec (MTO)
- Kéroul, Tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability
For more information on the committee, see the appendix
The International Center for Education and Research in Tourism (CIFORT) will hold, simultaneously, a scientific seminar regarding the Summit’s thematic.
André Vallerand, Chairman of the CED and Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General, will chair the Summit's Steering Committee. Here, he highlights the event's primary focus:
"At a time when the population of the Western world is aging and international tourism continues to grow, it is crucial for domestic and global partners to consolidate their expertise and join forces to make travel and tourism easier for disabled persons."
For Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, this event will facilitate the fulfillment of the objectives of the UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism:
"Promoting accessible tourism is at the heart of UNWTO's mandate and we are delighted to be an active part of the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL Global Summit in Montréal. Through the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, UNWTO is committed to upholding the rights of the most vulnerable communities, particularly the elderly and the disabled. I firmly believe the Summit will be an opportunity to come up with solutions to considerably improve travel, accommodation and accessibility conditions across tourist attractions and services for persons with disabilities."
Minister of Tourism Nicole Ménard believes that the Global Summit reflects the importance of launching initiatives to promote accessible tourism.
"The Global Summit is assembling leading organizations to foster cooperation among stakeholders through the accessibility of destinations. I would like to pay tribute to the efforts made by Kéroul, an official partner of the Ministère du Tourisme for the past 25 years, which is working intensely to make Québec a destination accessible to everyone."
Without question, the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL Global Summit in Montréal is an event ALL are invited to attend!
For event details, please check the site www.keroul.qc.ca/en regularly and sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.
André Leclerc, CEO
Michel Trudel, Advisor
Accessible Quebec Search
Consult the Accessible Québec guide here!