World Summit on Destinations for All, addressing the themes of tourism, culture and transportation for persons with physical disabilities will be held in Montréal on 19 to 22 October 2014.
The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to climb to one billion in 2012. Persons with physical disabilities account for roughly 15% of the population and this number should continue to rise given the aging demographic. Like everyone else, persons 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 disabilities? 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 person with disability 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 individuals with disabilities 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.
The 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.
André Leclerc, CEO