The Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics organized the conference “Accessibility in tourism: an ethical value, a business opportunity” on 14th February 2013 in Milan, Italy. Hotels, tourism companies, disabled persons organizations and students from three higher tourism education centres in Italy attended the conference in order to discuss about how all stakeholders in tourism can make an effort to improve the accessibility for the tourists.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion people worldwide – 15% of the global population – suffer from some form of disability. This number is expected to continue rising as a result of demographic changes, particularly the rapid ageing of the global population”. As UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said “Accessibility in tourism is a right and an ethical obligation, but it is also an important business opportunity”.
Accessibility is one of the key areas work in sustainable tourism development. For instance, article 7 of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism considers essential this right and some organizations such as Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST) includes this subject in a specific chapter to manage the tourism with success in sustainable manner.