CHARTS project at the European Tourism Day 2013
Brussels, 3 - 4 December 2013
The European Commission - DG Justice and DG Enterprise and Industry – celebrated the "European Day of Persons with Disabilities" and the "European Tourism Day" 2013 with the Joint Conference on “Accessible Tourism in Europe”. This two-fold event was organised by European Commission in order to raise awareness on the rights of everybody to have equal access to tourism services and destinations and to present some success stories and best practices in the field.
According to approved work plan, Project Management and Coordination Unit (MCU) attended EU Joint Conference: EU Day of People with Disabilities and European Tourism Day, together with project partners - Ms. C.Boersma, Coordinator of European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) and Ms. A.Nikolova, Deputy Mayor of Burgas Municipality and Secretary of Union of South East Region Local Authorities, Bulgaria.
This event was very special for project because one of the topics of good practice in CHARTS is focused on accessible tourism (thematic workshop on ‘accessibility to heritage’ was organised on November 2013 in Tullamore, Ireland) and it was a chance to gain latest information from European Commission related to political, economic and practical aspects in tourism.
On December 3rd, the conference with discussions was focused on the access and accessibility for tourists and residents from the user’s point of view with examples of ‘Tourism for All’ good practices and possible solutions for the obstacles most frequently encountered.
Day was closed with a ceremony for the winning city of the annual Access City Award 2014, the European Award for Accessible Cities, chaired by Ms. Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice.
A.Nikolova was specially invited by Europe Commission to attend fourth ceremony - Access City Award 2014, as Burgas city applied for nomination “Accessible City 2014” and was between 33 candidate cities. The winner of Access City Award in 2014 was Gothenburg, where CHARTS project had its thematic workshop on quality criteria at destinations on April 2013.
On December 4th, the European Tourism Day 2013 focused on the issues of political, economic and practical aspects in tourism - European legislative, particularly to visas and regulatory barriers in tourism from perspective of cruise industry and tour operators.
Mr. Marino Finozi, Minister of Tourism and International Trade from CHARTS project partner region Veneto introduced participants with the economic impact of Accessible Tourism in Veneto.
Conference was closed with conclusions by Mr. Pedro Ortun, Director of Commission Directorate, General for Enterprise and Industry. He informed that by March/April 2014 IT tourism business portal will be prepared, in order to help young entrepreneurs to build up tourism businesses.
At the end of the joint event, Mr. Antonia Tajani, Vice President of European Commission said: “Quality is an example of European excellence. We need to stress this. Because quality also means more respect for the environment and better use of resources. The aim is to create a fully sustainable sector. We need to be able to create tourism that is tailor-made to the needs and requirements of people with disabilities.”
During two days project leaflets at the event venue were distributed and were established contacts with Executive Director for Member Relations and Services at the World Tourism Organisation in Madrid (Spain), Mr. Spyridon Adonis Georgiadis, Health Minister of Greece, and the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS).
European Tourism Day 2012
Brussels, 27 September 2012
CHARTS Project Coordinator M.Vougioukas, Project Communication Manager I.Treija-Moraitis, ECTN President C.Boersma, ECTN Coordinator J.Winton and T.Olsson from Region Västra Götaland joined at the European Tourism Day on 27 September 2012 in Brussels.
The conference was dedicated to the issues of “seasonality, maritime and coastal tourism”. Vice President of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani underlined how necessary it is to make tourism an all-year activity to ensure sustainable and long-term employment for the tourism industry and better conditions for the tourists themselves. A number of stakeholders presented and discussed their experience and best practices in the field. The afternoon session was dedicated on the new Commission Communication for Coastal and Maritime Tourism in Europe and how it will promote dedicated sea-basin approaches and synergies between regions and across borders. During the conference, was stressed that real country growth should be responsible for sustainable growth.