Europe accessible for tourists with disabilities
This challenge concerns the way people with disabilities are able to access tourism.
Access to tourism and leisure concerns every European citizen. Unfortunately for millions of citizens with disabilities (motor/mental/visual/hearing), access to tourism is difficult. There is a real lack of reliable information available: 80% of people with disabilities give up on their travel plans because it is not easy for them to organize their stay. It is therefore vital that we provide disabled people with the means to remove the barriers currently blocking their access to tourism and recreation. This challenge aims to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to undertake trips by increasing their knowledge of those tourism opportunities available and facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Convention concerning the rights of people with disabilities which came into force in May 2008.
Transport options, specific facilities available at tourist sites or the layout of hotel-rooms/camp-sites are all examples of the type of information which needs collecting before organizing a trip and is currently disorganized and not up-to-date. This challenge aims to provide a digital tool to facilitate the preparation, the undertaking and the sharing of experiences for journeys throughout the European region, and concerns anybody with a disability whether motor, mental, visual or hearing.
Bringing together experts in tourism (researchers, communities, businesses, tourist sites), our
organization is able to support the definition and implementation of an experiment at a Regional
scale (Pays de la Loire, France) which can be expanded across Europe to offer the first social and collective travel guide for people with disabilities.
We are in the Pays de la Loire and this geographical area is suitable for the initial experiment before we roll out the chosen solution across Europe. In fact, nearly 230,000 people live with a disability in Pays de la Loire, which is a sufficient community to test a solution allowing access to tourism The target group includes all those people with disabilities and represents around 80 million people across the continent of Europe.
One of the challenges for our organization is to prioritize innovation in tourism. we aim to support societal innovation to allow the greatest possible number of people to benefit from the pleasures of travel.
Some of our partners are in daily contact with people with disabilities. the link between the
community targeted by this challenge and our organization lies in our ability to mobilize these good partners who seek to offer solutions to people with disabilities. It is through these partners that we will be able to reach the target community.
Angers TourismLab. is a regional structure financed in particular by the European Union and
supported by the University of Angers. It brings together a network of partners to boost research, training and innovation in the tourism sector: ESSCA Angers, University of Angers, University of Nantes, regional chamber of commerce and industry, 20 companies and even more.
The Angers TourismLab. development strategy is based on the identification of projects at regional, national and European scales, allowing it to bring together several of these members. Access to tourism for people with disabilities is a major challenge for Europe and offers interesting development prospects for progress in research, training and innovation in the target community.
Angers TourismLab. wishes to support the challenge solver by providing its expertise and its
experimental sites to help create a startup at the end of the test phases.
The contact will be Solène Chesnel,and Philippe Broix, Angers TourismLab.
The mainstream online tourist guides, cannot be regularly updated, they deteriorate quickly and are not available to a wide-enough audience. There are various lists available for accessible sites but none of these is complete.
We are therefore looking for a technological solution that will result an improved choice for disabled tourists in all cities. This will take the form of a social and collective travel guide allowing people with disabilities to organize, plan and prepare their trip. Within the guide’s framework, we want to include information on the accessibility of sites (bars, restaurants, museums etc.) depending on the users' own preferences, but also photos and feedback with the opportunity to contact those who have already visited.
Angers TourismLab. is a network of partners with knowledge of the issues facing the specific community targeted by the challenge. Our tourism researchers are working on accessibility and we have as partners a number of communities and tourist sites ready to get involved in an experiment within the Pays de la Loire Region. In addition, Angers TourismLab. is committed to supporting the project leader and giving them the necessary means to achieve the objectives of the challenge while ensuring the reproducibility of the solution at a European scale. Experimentation being a crucial phase, we guarantee that the challenge winner will be able to test their solution with various stakeholders (hotels, tourist sites in urban, rural and coastal areas, communities and institutions, museums, travel agencies etc.). We can support the project leader during the various phases:
- considering the needs of the target community and how to perfectly adapt the solution to
their specific requirements
- structuring the experimental project: search for regions, companies, tourist sites to carry
out the experiment/administrative procedures if required with regional communities/project
follow-up/analysis and evaluation of the experiments
- communicating with researchers, university students and local and national stakeholders
to keep them informed as to the progress of the experiment, which is a real asset for the
solution provider and the communication related to their activity