The EU Commission has published a new call for proposals in the framework of the Preparatory action “Tourism and accessibility for all”, financed by the European Parliament. The overall purpose of this call is to” incentivise and reward European destinations which make accessibility as a key priority in their promotional offer”. Specific aims of the European Excellence Award for Accessible Tourism are:

  • To foster adaptation of tourism products and services to the needs of people with disabilities
  • To promote the use of innovative solutions
  • To improve skills and training with relation to accessibility in the tourism supply chain
  • To raise awareness and promote cooperation between public and private stakeholders on the access needs of tourists
  • To foster the  creation of a  seamless and truly accessible tourism supply chain  in Europe
  • To disseminate best practices and promote networking amongst destinations

Applicants are requested to design an award scheme to be implemented at national level for the selection through an open competition of best practices, practical solutions, or excellence initiatives which facilitate the access of people with special access needs to tourism services. The practices, solutions or initiatives to consider for the award can be both private, supported by private-public partnerships, or supported by public funds and are put in place by economic operators/SMEs in the tourism sector, alone or in cooperation with other public or private bodies. The national awards will help identifying practices, solutions or initiatives that: 1) have provided a tangible improvement of the access conditions to tourism services for people with special access needs 2) can showcase how tourism businesses  have benefited from better accessibility, boosting at the same time consumers’ confidence and satisfaction 3) have helped raising  quality standards across the whole tourism industry as well as the quality of life in the local communities.

Award schemes at national level shall be designed around the following categories:  1) Accommodation and catering and  2) National Heritage, Culture, Entertainment and Leisure. Maximum European Union co-financing ceiling per project: EUR 30.000€. Deadline: 13/11/2012. For more information: European Commission Dg Enterprise Tourism Unit.

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