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Charles-Etienne Bélanger Director, International Social Tourism Organisation Malta, 16 th November 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Charles-Etienne Bélanger Director, International Social Tourism Organisation Malta, 16 th November 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charles-Etienne Bélanger Director, International Social Tourism Organisation Malta, 16 th November 2012

2 Social Tourism : concept and realities Tourism for people with disabilities The role of ISTO and the STEEP project

3 Recognition of Social Tourism Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

4 The prospect of direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planets resources constitutes a right equally open to all the worlds inhabitants. Social tourism, and in particular associative tourism, which facilitates widespread access to leisure, travel and holidays, should be developed with the public authorities. Family, youth, student and senior tourism and tourism for people with disabilities, should be encouraged and facilitated. UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (1999)

5 Social Tourism definition, assets and criteria Shaper of Society Promoter of economic growth Participation in regional & economic Development Partner in global development programs Montreal Declaration, Towards a Humanist and Social Vision of Tourism ISTO (1996)

6 Three conditions for Social Tourism Real life circumstances are such that it is totally or partially impossible to fully exercise the right to tourism. Someone – be it a public or private institution, a company, a trade union, or simply an organised group of people – decides to take action to overcome or reduce the obstacles which prevents a person from exercising their right to tourism. The action is effective and actually helps a group of people to participate in tourism in a manner which respects the values of sustainability, accessibility and solidarity. Barcelona Declaration, European and Economic Social Committee (2006)

7 Several initiatives Holiday Vouchers - REKA (Switzerland) - ANCV (France) - ABVI (Italy) Senior Holiday Programme – IMSERSO (Spain) Holiday Participation Centre - Tourist Office for Flanders (Belgium) Social Tourism Grant Programs – NFR (Hungary) Europe Senior Tourism – SEGITTUR (Spain) Youth hostel movement -IYHF (Worldwide)

8 What is the situation of the Europeans who (do not) go on holiday ? 72% of the European citizens travelled in % go on holidays (4 consecutive nights outside of their home) 45% do not go on holiday for financial reasons 56% who went on holiday in 2011 stayed in their own country, 44% went to another EU country and just 22% said they had holiday in another country outside the EU (Source: Flash Euro barometer, N° 328, 334, Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tourism)

9 Why improving tourism accessibility across Europe ? Tourism destinations in Europe are facing increasing global competition in terms of price and quality. The demographic ageing of western industrial countries demands appropriate changes in the tourism sector. The rights of persons with disabilities to equal participation in society are being strengthened through the world.

10 Tourism destinations in Europe are facing increasing global competition in terms of price and quality Improving accessibility can be a way to enhance the overall quality of tourism. Better accessibility can broaden the customer base, opening up destinations and attractions to more visitors.

11 The demographic ageing of western industrial countries demands appropriate changes in the tourism sector In order to anticipate and meet the demands of this market evolution, tourism providers must address accessibility for older and disabled tourists as a primary strategic concern. It is estimated that as many as 130 million people in Europe alone will benefit from improved access to travel and tourism services.

12 The rights of persons with disabilities to equal participation in society are being strengthened through the world It will inevitably bring increased demand for accessible tourism offerings and it will necessitate changes in tourism products and services. The ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and recent initiatives at European is driving forward an equal access agenda, based on the principles of non- discrimination of persons with disabilities.

13 Initiatives at EU and International level Call for tenders for a Study on the economic impact and travel patterns of accessible tourism in Europe. Call for proposals in the framework of the Preparatory Action Tourism and Accessibility for All. World Summit in October 2014 Montreal, Canada.

14 Mission Promote better access to leisure, holidays and tourism for all Priorities Raise awareness among governments, international institutions Become a true platform for exchange and services for the members Members 150 members in 35 countries Operators, NTOs, Regional Authorities, Universities, Trade Unions

15 Network of Local and Regional Authorities Stimulation of partnerships and exchanges of best practices Trade Union Task Force Strengthen the synergy between trade unions active in the sector Alliance for Training and Research in Social and Solidarity Tourism Support the activities of ISTO with analyses, studies and research

16 What is STEEP ? Social Tourism European Exchanges Platform a web-based platform linking supply and demand (B2B) for accommodation and tourism services to facilitate transnational tourism across Europe for 4 population groups: youth, families facing difficult circumstances, seniors and people with disabilities especially during the low season

17 STEEP - Who can take part in the platform ? Service providers Accommodation providers (holiday villages, residential hotels, youth hostels, camp sites,..) Other tourism services providers (transport, catering, culture, leisure) Intermediary organisations Associations and federations of youth, seniors/retired workers, people with disabilities, families facing special circumstances, state and local governments and social structures.

18 STEEP - What are the conditions ? Sign a Charter Commitment to social tourism values Respect the legal and social norms Respect accessibility and sustainability principles

19 What does the eCalypso web platform look like?

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21 STEEP – Who carries out the project ? ISTO and 6 partners 15 months project funded at 75% by EU Challenge : to be economically self-sustained

22 Although the democratization of travel and tourism has allowed millions of people to enjoy their holidays, tourism is still not enough inclusive in Europe and in many other parts of the world. With the crisis, the holiday departure rate has decreased over the last few years. It is time more than ever to work closely and to have a stronger lobby to develop a more sustainable and fair tourism for all. Thank you for your attention !


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