Exclusive interview: Eric Lipp, chairman of the Destinations for All Summit in 2021 and founder of Open Doors

The third Destinations for All Summit 2021 will be held in September 2021 in Miami, USA

Summit date: 19 to 21 September 2021

Summit place: Hilton Miami Downton Hotel in Miami (Florida - US)

In 2021, the third world summit on accessible tourism will take place in Miami. What will be the main purpose of the summit?

We want to follow up on the work being done in Brussels and Montreal. We need to have a moment to look back to the beginning to see where some of us started and how we have progressed.  We also want to welcome our newcomers and we will have full programming for them as well, such as giving website accessibility for beginners, and perhaps a program for those looking to expand their online presence. It is important to bring new ideas to the table while ensuring we address older topics for those who are further along in their accessibility/inclusion projects.

What will be the key topics of discussion and who will you have as speakers?

Destinations and technology, of course, will be big topics. These are likely to be divided among many categories.  Hotels, airlines, airports, and ground transport will also be strong discussion points and we hope to encourage many travel agents and other travel professionals to attend. The speakers will be leaders in their respective fields, from academia, government, industry professionals, and of course, travellers with disabilities.

South Beach

What are the main challenges for the 2021 summit, and how can they be resolved?

Information will be the main obstacle for the DFA 2021 summit. We have to find ways of spreading the word about the event to every inch of the globe.  We hope that the “word of mouth” network will encourage everyone to attend, but we would also like to make attendance easy and affordable.  A major challenge will be to raise enough money to subsidise certain people who may not be able to afford to participate otherwise.

View of Miami, and its famous beach

Why was Miami chosen? What are its advantages over other destinations?

Miami is a gateway to the United States and it really exemplifies the diversity and multicultural aspects that appeal to the organisers of events such as DFA. Miami also has a world class airport and accessible transportation that makes it easy to get in and out of the city: not to mention the hospitable people, the great food, and of course, the weather! All this and beautiful, accessible beaches and sidewalks make Miami the perfect destination for all!

What three qualities most appeal to you about Miami?

There is a large population of people with disabilities, and the fact that Miami and Florida are huge tourist destinations, so the event will have an impact on an area of the country that should be showcased.

What would you recommend to international delegates if they could only visit three places in Miami?

Visit the famous Miami Beaches. Walk the streets of South Beach, or enjoy a stroll around the cosmopolitan Bayside Market, just a short distance away from Port Miami with its cruise ship terminals.  

Miami harbour by night

A website dedicated to the 2021 summit will soon be online.

Mohamed Mezghani (UITP): 'I’ll be pushing for a holistic approach to the destination, which will be economically viable as well as prioritising accessibility in public transport'

In an interview, Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP, the International Association of Public Transport reveals the mission of the organisation towards urban mobility for all and the reasons for their investment in Destinations for All.

Tell us more about the UITP?

UITP is the International Association of Public Transport, the only worldwide network of its kind to bring together all stakeholders and players in urban mobility. We’re an old association, having existed since 1885, and we now have more than 1700 members in 100 countries. We are a large family where everyone, from the traditional players in mass transit, to the new players in inclusive mobility can function cooperatively together. With this level of international reach comes a large amount of responsibility. Gathering all of the different players around the table to share innovative ideas and expert advice is how we move the sector forward. UITP is based in Brussels, and there are 17 other offices around the world, with experienced and informed colleagues working on behalf of our global membership. Our members cover all the stakeholders in sustainable urban mobility ecosystem, who represent mass public transport and on-demand and shared mobility solutions.

You represent more than 1700 member companies in 100 countries. What is the global mission of the organisation?

UITP’s mission is to advance urban mobility and to work alongside our global membership to continuously develop the sector. By bringing so many different voices together, whether at one of our international events such as our global summit, or conferences, or at trainings with the UITP Academy, we can make a difference to the wider sustainable transport community. UITP is an association of member-led knowledge that we share through networking and advocacy and outreach work. By having such a large international membership of talented and motivated colleagues, we have become a leading voice for the sector and our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those living in our cities.

As UITP Secretary General, what is your role?

I have worked in urban mobility for over 25 years and I have been with UITP for more than 20 of them.  I have held different roles within our association before becoming Secretary General in January 2018. I am very honoured to hold this position which involves overseeing the entire operation of the association, working with our members to advance our sector, and engaging with political decision-makers to increase awareness on the benefits of public transport. UITP is led by many hard-working and talented people who allow us to work cooperatively every day to achieve our goals!

You have joined the newly formed steering committee of Destinations for All (DFA). How and why did you choose to get involved in the continuation of DFA?

DFA is about promoting accessibility to make tourism destinations places for all, so that people are not excluded because of their physical or mental disabilities. It’s about social inclusion which is one of the association’s missions. My involvement in DFA is coherent with the values I advocate in the public transport sector. It’s about putting the focus on people, without exceptions, and meeting their expectations in terms of accessibility to improve their lives.

Destinations For All is deeply appreciative of your long-standing involvement. What would be your ultimate goal for this sector?

Public transport is an essential service that is becoming increasingly important and making it accessible to all is a priority. Our stakeholders, such as operators, authorities, and the supply industry are actively involved in improving transport accessibility and mobility in bus and train stations, air travel, vehicles, equipment, and more. We face many challenges due to the ageing infrastructure and the lack of public funds, and we work ceaselessly to increase the awareness of political decision makers to get the needed financial support. We also disseminate good practice cases from cities the world over that have succeeded in making their public transport accessible to all. We recently rewarded these incentives by including them in the Global Public Transport Awards presented during our summit in Stockholm. Accessibility is also a priority topic in our work programs and is covered by many of our committees. All these initiatives aim to achieve the ultimate goal of making public transport accessible for all,

So you are likely to be on the Board of Destinations For All for many years to come. What can we expect, and what does UITP hope to achieve in the long-term?

Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP
Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP

I am delighted to be on the board of Destinations For All. I’ll be pushing for a holistic approach to the destination industry, which will be economically viable as well as prioritising accessibility in public transport; with people-centred transport as a backbone. Accessibility is not only about physical or mental, but also economic. In this regard, public transport is by definition the only mode which offers mobility for all thanks to its public service dimension. This dimension must remain despite all of the new developments we witness in the mobility market such as the emergence of new players or the growing digitalisation. New players have emerged in the industry, but facilitating mobility is not just a trend, it is an ongoing development that focuses on social inclusion and involves restructuring public transport services to benefit all. We have to make sure that these trends are not deployed to the detriment of people and social inclusion. UITP will be advocating that people-focused dimension which is the essence of public transport.

Annette Masson (Association Tourisme & Handicaps): 'We will continue to pursue our goal of universal accessibility by changing perspectives in the tourism industry!'

Annette MASSON, president of the Association Tourisme & Handicaps, has a very dear wish: that one should no longer have to fight to make accessibility a natural, automatic right.

Annette Masson,  More about ATH :

Tell us more about the Association Tourisme & Handicaps

Created in 2001 in France, the Association Tourisme & Handicaps (ATH) has spared no effort in its undertaking to make leisure activities and holiday destinations accessible to people with disabilities.

What is the global mission of the organisation?

It is a common platform shared by tourism providers and representatives of disabled tourists.

It is made up of members of the tourism professions, associations for disabled people, private actors from the industry, and hospitality groups of seasonal furnished places whose objectives correspond to those pursued by the Association, which are to improve hospitableness, enhance the tourism offer, promote mutual understanding, and to create a social obligation.

It is the co-creator of the Tourisme et Handicap label (2001) and the Destination for All label (2012).  It raises awareness and promotes of access policies for holidays and leisure activities for disabled people by as many means as possible: education, surveys, studies, training, expertise, exhibitions, conferences and seminars, and publications.

What is your role?

My mission as team leader is to motivate, federate and coordinate all the actions of our members. It entails collaborating with our many volunteers, and striving to change insular attitudes in hospitableness in the fields of leisure and holidays to ones of “everything for everyone”.

You have joined the newly formed steering committee of Destinations for All (DFA). How and why did you choose to get involved in the continuation of DFA?

Since the creation of ATH, we have established a strong relationship with Kéroul. We exchange ideas on many common concerns. Given our existing investment in Destination for All in France (a label for accessible territories), we also wanted to establish relationships and to be fully involved with international organisations that have the same goals.

Destinations for All is deeply appreciative of your long-standing involvement. What is your ultimate goal for this sector?

I join Isabelle Ducharme-Kéroul in this very dear wish: that one should no longer have to fight to make accessibility a natural, automatic right.

What can we expect, and what does ATH hope to achieve in the long-term?

The development of leisure and tourism is global and it is important for tourists with disabilities to have the same opportunities to discover the world as any other tourist. Together we will continue to raise awareness and to pursue our goal of universal accessibility by changing perspectives in the tourism industry.

More about ATH :

Under the spotlight: Isabelle Ducharme, member of Destinations for All steering committee

Isabelle Ducharme, chairwoman of the board of directors of Kéroul and co-president of Destinations for All Summit 2018, affirms that the goal of Destinations for All is to put an end to the fight for accessibility and to ensure it is assumed automatically into every sector of society.

Tell us more about KEROUL

Kéroul was founded in 1979 and is the key consultant for Tourisme Québec regarding accessibility. It is a non-profit organization which, through information and lobbying, promotes and develops accessible tourism and culture.

The organization also works with governments and private businesses to increase accessibility. It offers a range of services such as evaluation and certification, consultation, hospitality training, and publications.

What is the global mission of the organisation?

Kéroul wishes to share its expertise with other decision-makers and non-profit organizations to make sure that all countries work towards a world of accessible tourism using the tools we have developed and adapting them to their specific requirements.

What is your role?

I have been president of the board of the organization for nearly ten years. Other than the usual responsibilities of a president, I do a lot of representation as well as keeping in touch with the disability community.

You have joined the newly formed steering committee of Destinations for All (DFA). How and why did you choose to get involved in the continuation of DFA?

Kéroul’s founder and director, Andre Leclerc, was the instigator of the first Destinations for All Summit held in Montreal in 2014. The first objective was to move from talk to action. The declaration “A World for Everyone” to be signed by all individuals, organizations and decision-makers willing to work on improving tourism accessibility, was one of the ways of establishing a commitment   to concrete actions. After the success of the first edition, it was evident that we needed to have further editions to confirm the industry is moving forward.

Destinations for All is deeply appreciative of your long-standing involvement. What is your ultimate goal for this sector?

Kéroul hopes that its products and services for accessible tourism, throughout the world, will be included automatically in the planning stages of all new built environment and services developments. The ultimate goal is that we should no longer have to fight for accessibility. That it should be seen as an essential commodity with a lucrative value, is likely to be on the board of Destinations for All agenda for many years to come.

What can we expect, and what does KEROUL hope to achieve in the long-term?

The board aims to bring together more countries, decision-makers and organizations to each new summit. It is the best place to share actions that work and to learn from the success of others. We also want to hold the event in a different country every time to ensure that we reach as many people as we can in order to attain universal accessibility.

Revealing place and date of the 3rd World Summit on Accessible Tourism

The Destinations for All Steering Committee in cooperation with Kéroul, CAWaB, and Open Doors are pleased to announce that the third edition of the World Summit on Accessible Tourism – Destinations for All will be held in the fall of 2021 in Miami, Florida (The exact dates will be published very soon).

Organised approximately every 3 years by the Destinations for All steering committee, DFA is the largest summit in the world dedicated to innovation and best practices for the development of accessible destinations for all. It is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders in the sector such as government decision makers, destination managers, tourism business leaders, civil society actors and professional associations of the tourism and travel sector, to come together, to learn, and to find new ways of moving forward.

A website dedicated to the 2021 summit will soon be online.

More information:

Steering committee member under the spotlight : Charles-E. Bélanger, ISTO-OITS

Home In an interview, Charles-E. Bélanger, Director of the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO-OITS), reveals the mission of the organisation towards responsible and fair tourism and the reasons for their investment in Destinations for All. Tell us more about the ISTO? The International Social Tourism Organization (ISTO) is a non-profit association established under Belgian law in 1963. It brings together actors who share a social, supportive and sustainable vision of tourism around the world. You represent more than 160 public, private and social member organisations in nearly 40 countries. What is the global mission of the organisation? We see our mission as twofold: to encourage the development of tourism for all and to promote and support the various forms of tourism – responsible, united, fair, and community – in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Development Programme. As director, what is your role? I coordinate the implementation of the actions carried out in terms of representation, of member networking and the development of knowledge and realisation of projects. This is accomplished through the various bodies of the organization and at the level of its regional divisions (in the Americas, Europe, and Africa), its Alliance on Training and Research, and its Task Force and working groups. You have joined the newly formed steering committee of Destinations for All (DFA). How and why did you choose to get involved in the continuation of DFA? Our commitment is long-standing. ISTO joined Destinations for All for its first edition in Montreal in 2014, and continued its commitment to the Summit in 2018 in Brussels. It was an obvious step for us, as the issue of accessible tourism, holidays and leisure for the greatest number of people, including people with disabilities, is at the heart of our association's mission. In addition to being involved in the organization of the first two summits and participating in conferences and workshops, ISTO promoted DFA throughout its extensive network. Destinations for All is deeply appreciative of your long-standing involvement. What would be your ultimate goal for this sector? This, without doubt, would be to ensure that the physical and psychological barriers that constitute obstacles to the mobility of people, particularly to that of those who travel, are minimized. It is essential that reception areas, information and other services, sites, tourist activities, equipment and products are accessible to all those who wish to use them. So you are likely to be on the Board of Destinations for All for many years to come.  What can we expect, and what does ISTO hope to achieve in the long-term? ISTO is not only determined that the organisation of future DFA summits will continue, but will also strongly encourage all actors concerned with the issues of accessible tourism and, more broadly, with the promotion and development of a humanistic vision of tourism, to strengthen their international synergy and collaboration. More about Destinations for All steering committee members Destinations For All Steering Committee More about ISTO-OITS ISTO-OITS website

Wheelchair accessible aeroplanes? A model for the rest of the world

Many forms of transport are now wheelchair accessible. But not aeroplanes. One woman, Michele Erwin (All Wheels Up), wants to change that : On 5 October 2018, 5th President Trump signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) re-authorization act which had the provision "The study of wheelchair securement systems for in-cabin use". All Wheels Up is the only organization in the world funding and conducting research for a wheelchair spot on planes, by crash testing wheelchair tie downs and wheel chairs for commercial transport planes. The initial feasibility study from All Wheels Up was shown to congress and was instrumental in the provision being added and staying in-tacked in the bill. The United States is the only country to currently to set in place a law to "fund" research for a wheelchair on planes. All Wheels Up has since been invited to Canada and the UK to be apart of other countries looking to take on the same initiative. All details about the FAA act can be found through the following link: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (new window) Congratulations to Michele Erwin, All Wheels Up Founder and President. And thank you for changing the world ! View or listen to the full presentation of Michele Erwin during the recent World Summit on Accessible Tourism: Evaluation of Wheelchairs and Wheelchair tie downs for in-cabin use (new window)

Learn best practices through listening: More new resources and audios now available

On this website, we have now added a considerable number of experts' audio files and long versions of their presentations that took place during the 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism in Brussels last October. These resources are all designed to assist organizations and individuals in making changes for people with disabilities or impairments. Here's to audio files and long versions of the Summit presentations Some recent add-ons to the website: Predicting and preparing tomorrow's accessible tourism The personal attendant for leisure (PAL) card: a tool to support the participation of people with disabilities in recreational, cultural and tourism activities “AusZeit”- apartments with care concept Accelerator of inclusion and mobility for territories Introductory remarks by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Creating sensory gardens and paths as outdoor sites for people with visual impairments “Passeur de sens” : accessibility in the cultural and touristic fields to improve quality of life Click here to find out other proceedings, presentations and audio files from other experts

A steering committee for the continuation of Destinations for All, the World Summit for Accessible Tourism

Great news! We have created a steering committee that will focus on ensuring the continuation of Destinations for All world summits. The committee has been set up, and is presided over jointly, by the organisers of preceding summits (Kéroul and CAWab). Currently, it is made up of the representatives of partners, responsible bodies and of individuals, who will contribute their professional experience and expertise to promote future initiatives in furthering accessible tourism globally. 

Objectives undertaken by the steering committee 

  • To circulate and make available the results of previous summits.(Montreal 2014, Brussels 2018) and of the future summits.
  • To promote the declaration "A World for everyone".
  • To establish a forum to exchange views and to keep watch on innovations and advances in inclusive transport and tourism that comply with the recommendations of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and those of the World Tourism Organisation promoting accessible tourism for all.
  • To set up a programme committee for future summits.
  • To determine who will organise, and where and when the next summits will be held.
  • To facilitate the organisers’ work in future summits: planning, content, mailing lists, etc.

Members of this committee

  • Access-i, Belgium
  • ATH, France
  • CAWaB, Belgium
  • Various consultants from Québec, Canada and from the UK
  • ENAT, International
  • ISTO, International
  • Kéroul, Québec, Canada
  • ONCE, Spain
  • Open Doors, USA
  • Predif, Spain
  • Travability, Australia
  • UITP, International 

Would you like to become a partner and join us on this journey?

You can contribute to inclusive tourism and a better world for all by joining us as a long-term partner of this committee. Contact us to become partner, to foster goodwill and connect with more than one billion potential clients and visitors. (new window)

Stay tuned

We will soon be launching a dedicated website. Register for our newsletter to stay tuned. Subscribe and receive the newsletter (new window)

Top picks: Closing remarks

Short review, impressions, conclusions

Over 400 participants from 42 different countries (new window) gathered under one roof to get to know each other, share experience and best practices at #dfa2018. The Summit in its second edition exceeded all possible expectations of accessible tourism’s field. We are happy to share our co-president conclusions.

Concluding remarks at the Summit’s closing, by Vincent Snoeck 

"From these two days of presentations, debates and discussions, I would retain five central elements"

  1. "Making accessible tourism infrastructures is economically viable: several experiments presented have shown us that they are economically profitable."
  2. "We must move away from the concept of destination and globalise by talking about travel: rather than islands, let's talk about archipelagos that encompass all the links of accessibility."
  3. "Influencers make a strong contribution to making decisions about where to go, and how to do it. People recognise themselves in their peers, and obviously take their opinions into account."
  4. "Accessible tourism is first and foremost tourism for all. We must be able to live the experience to the end – to live an emotion."
  5. "The Summit has made it possible to confront parallel initiatives. Let us wager that if these initiatives were to be coordinated, they would produce an even more positive effect on the development of tourism for all. Partnerships have really become indispensable in this regard."
The World Summit on Accessible Tourism has come to an end! The two days behind us were full of exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas. We would like to thank all the participants, speakers, moderators, volunteers, partners and teams for making this Summit a success.
We wish you wonderful travels in wonderful destinations, and to pursue your dreams relentlessly!  #travelsafe #dfa2018 #ChangeTourism

Summit day 2 (Tue 2 October): Some top picks

These are some non-exhaustive top picks, extracts and notes from the #dfa2018 Summit reporters. They go along with the details of each session, that you can find here in the programme (new window).


Making tourism accessible to everyone relies on the input of influencers such as early adopters, bloggers, social media, and word of mouth, etc.  Their opinions and advice help us to alter our attitudes, and to bring about change. By example, they educate us as to what accessibility should mean. Their interventions allow us to think out of the box. The information gained from their shared experiences is vital to decision-making and the part played by all the actors in accessible tourism. An influencer can play a facilitative role at three levels: share of knowledge, standards establishment and performance mesasures.

Air Transport

We can envisage that one day, all flights will be accessible by wheelchair. Some progress has already been made. In the United States, legislation was passed this October 2018 to provide wheelchair spaces in planes. In fact, the potential of air transport for people with reduced mobility is enormous, but there are still too few initiatives. In Germany, the number of potential passengers with reduced mobility (PRM), is estimated at 10%, but only 1% of them travel by plane. Before and after the aircraft takes off, airports have a responsibility to offer services to persons with reduced mobility. They have to take over if the airline does not offer assistance. The use of new technologies also helps a wider audience, who may have intellectual or visual disabilities.

Impacts of the accessibility

Even with a low budget, destinations, transport or tourism operators can significantly improve the accessibility of destinations. Because the slightest initiative in one place is often an oil spill and will give the impetus to inspire neighbouring actors to do the same, thereby increasing accessibility. It is therefore, a question of launching the virtuous circle. It is exactly what happened in Germany, in the Ruppin Lake area, following the building of an accessible hotel. Another example is in Delhi: during the design stage of the city’s sidewalks, the initiative from the beginning, was to sensitize and train decision-makers and engineers to put into practice the necessary criteria to carry out the accessibility process.

Certified destinations

The accessible journey starts locally, with us. For tourist operators, making a destination accessible is a journey in itself. It is an evolutionary and interactive process that is carried out in close cooperation with the local community as is done in Rostock (Germany) or in Bordeaux (France).

Inclusive accomodation

Without accessible buildings, there can be no inclusive vacation! People with reduced mobility need to travel more to develop the tourism sector. In the hotel industry, good practices target several types of tourist support and create appropriate offers. These could include specific hotels dedicated to families or couples with a member suffering from intellectual loss or dementia, etc. An inclusive hotel can not only be accessible for all, but it can also be managed by disabled people, with the help of consultation and partnerships.

Standards and expertise

Degree and diploma courses in tourism, or even tourism development plans, leave far too little room for specific needs. In the field, training for specialists such as architects, should also be ongoing. Professional recognition of specialists and consultants in accessibility is lacking, and should also be considered. Accessible tourism should not be subject to a specific ISO standard, but should be included in each of the ISO standards for tourism.

Stay facilitators

Making tourism accessible to all requires transforming the anxiety of a destination being or not being accessible into potential travel destination. Providing transportation, personal care and specialized equipment rentals to special-needs tourists are starting to change. For all this, it is also necessary to work hand in hand with experts in the health sector. The key exists: The Personal Attendant for Leisure card (PAL) and the European Disability Card are free passes aiming at disabled persons to leave their home, to visit and to travel while minimizing the costs of outing or activities.

Parks and nature

In parks and in nature, accessibility for all equipment must be planned. To discover and appreciate nature, we can produce objects for visually impaired people (for example, birds in 3D), as well as creating sensory paths in gardens, etc. We must aim for accessibility for all types of visitors, as is the case in the Eiffel Park. It is important to continuously evolve: to improve access, and to create action plans to develop visitors’ routes, etc. There are still too few people who visit nature parks and attracting them to do so is a challenge.

Adventure tourism and outdoor activities

Accessible tourism must concern everyone: we must not segregate the public. We should share emotions and make discoveries together! It is a question of being audacious because the hardest thing is to convince those who are able to do an extreme sport to motivate others to do it.

Travels around the world

Nothing is impossible. We have to get people out of their homes. It is not necessary to be officially recognized as tour operators of accessible travel, to organize and dare. Each travel agency can adapt to the needs of its clients (elderly, reduced mobility,...) and propose them travels adapted to their needs. Often, travellers with specific needs are looking for popular destinations before seeking for unknown destinations. Most human beings (no matter if they have specific needs or not) have three parameters that limit them: time, money, and energy. The fear of getting started is the biggest handicap. 

Summit day 1 (Mon 1 October): Some top picks

These are some non-exhaustive top picks, extracts and notes from the #dfa2018 Summit reporters. They go along with the details of each session, that you can find here in the programme (new window).

Customers, design, regions: new perspectives

“Disability does not equate to inactivity!” This session highlighted the importance of linking all aspects in the tourism chain (airports, local transports, hotels, venues). A destination is like an archipelago of many islands where cultural and leisure activities as well as services (accommodation, restaurants, etc.) are not necessarily found in the more equipped areas, so connections have to be made. The key is to consider a destination as a whole, because links in the tourism chain are not that often equally distributed. We must not forget the family and the accompanying persons. We have to develop destinations for all and everyone. It is also important to be adapted to the specificities of each place and each individual. There are no standard solutions, and technological innovations are welcome. The greatest satisfaction is to make it possible, and that the customer experience must remain at the centre of the approach.

Accessibility tools

The use of various supports and accessibility tools can help visually impaired people to experience a destination. As much as 30% of Europeans have difficulty reading or understanding, so accessibility tools and aids plays a huge part in the experience of the tourist with specific needs: audio description, digital guides, sign language, subtitling, and other devices or aids allow the inclusion of people with special needs who need to feel as comfortable abroad as they do at home. But it will also improve the experience of anyone else wishing to take advantage of the place.

Public transport  

Finding solutions that meet all needs is not easy. It is about changing habits and perspective from design to the manufacture of products that are adaptable to the user’s requirements.Stockholm has tested multi-sensory ticket dispensers on boarding platforms (rather than in the vehicles themselves). Ambitions can be realised and concrete projects are in the pipeline. Czechoslovakia has committed to make every one of its underground stations in Prague accessible to all users by 2025. In Cagliari (Italy), an application in real time provides increased accessibility levels at stops, and access to specific assistance. Within five years, Paris public transport will put in place concrete measures for communication and welcoming (this includes adapted signage, training of staff, and close collaboration with the associative community).

Availability of accessible taxis

As far as individual transport is concerned (taxis), there should be strong standards: accessibility rules and regulations should be implemented. This sector must also evolve with adapted vehicles, better offers, reduced waiting times, and easier booking facilities, etc. Finally, public authorities should put incentives in place to encourage taxi companies to make their vehicles and their services accessible.

Information and planning

All accessibility issues must be worked out with Destination Management Organizations (DMOs).The association and the good collaboration between organizations for the disabled, experts in accessibility (for certification) and the DMOs is essential. The accessibility offer of a destination must be marketed, and the way in which the information is disseminated must not be ignored: communication at every level – online and available to all.   Territory labelling programmes It is imperative to develop a reliable and verified information system that is detailed according to specific needs. From the discussions, a global, rather than local approach, is preferable. A few examples: An international system for beaches and boats has been submitted, Germany and Denmark are developing systems at national level (which will be much easier to understand and touse), ... By improving the accessibility of our destinations and promoting them with brands and certifications, we will gain in attractiveness and competitiveness. Studies show that, on average, people with disabilities spend more than other tourists.

National strategies

Government support and political goodwill are key elements to achieve comprehensive accessibility. In practice, public authorities have different options: formal legislation or texts, granting subsidies,  incentives, ... There are encouraging examples in Portugal and in Lebanon.

Top picks: Opening ceremony, welcome reception and plenary opening session

On Sunday 30 September 2018 the second World Summit on Accessible Tourism started in Brussels Over 400 participants from 255 organisations (new window) registered to the event, representing 42 different countries (new window). Representatives of the #dfa2018 organising committee opened the event and welcomed the participants. A kick off in style, with a pleasant atmosphere! The opening plenary session of #dfa2018 took place on Monday 1 October 2018 The opening plenary session was as a total success and some great material has been shared. Marina Diotallevi (World Tourism Organization - UNWTO) and Daniela Bas (United Nations) inspired us to be advocates for accessibility at all times, wherever we happen to be – stimulating! “Rarely have so many tourism professionals from all parts of the world contributed to a single, global conversation,” said Isabelle Ducharme (Co-president of the Summit). Accessibility is a right that we are claiming today. It is the duty of destinations, establishments and any touristic service to make every effort to reach optimal accessibility: Political willingness, communication, training, developing tools & instruments, providing support, setting deadlines, control, establishing sanctions,… added Vincent Snoeck (Co-president of the Summit).

List of registered organisations you can meet at Destinations for All 2018

255 different organisations and companies from 40+ countries are registered at Destinations for All 2018. Here is the updated list (dated 24 September 2018, in alphabetical order):
1 321 Vakanz / Tricentenaire Luxembourg
2 3SA Conseil France
3 ABP asbl Belgium
4 ABS Solutions United Arab Emirates
5 ABTA United Kingdom
6 Access Azores Portugal
7 Access Denmark / God Adgang Denmark
8 Access-i Belgium
9 Accessia Consulting Finland
10 Accessible Derbyshire United Kingdom
11 Accessible Family Travel United States
12 Accessible Itineraries Netherlands
13 Accessible Travel Netherlands Netherlands
14 Accessible Travel Solutions United States
15 AccessibleWorld Australia
16 Accessrec Europe France
17 ADAC Nordrhein Germany
18 Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan Poland
19 ADERA / Université de La Rochelle France
20 Alliance de l'Industrie Touristique du Québec Canada
21 Altéo Belgium
22 AMT Concept Belgium
23 ANLH asbl Belgium
24 AnySurfer + Adviesraad Toegankelijkheid Stad Leuven Belgium
25 APF Evasion France Handicap France
26 ASPH Belgium
27 Association of Barrier-free Destinations in Germany Germany
28 Association Spina Bifida et Handicaps Associés France
29 Association Tourisme et Handicaps France
30 Atingo asbl Belgium
31 Audio Description Associates, LLC/American Council of the Blind United States
32 Audiospot France
33 Auditeur Libre France
34 Aurizone France
35 Autonomia asbl Belgium
36 Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Tourisme France
37 AViQ Belgium
38 Balaruc-Les-Bains France
39 Balaruc-Les-Bains Spa France
40 Barbados Council for the Disabled Barbados
41 Barcelona Tourism Board Spain
42 BARK Rådgivning Denmark
43 Basque Tourism Agency Spain
44 BAU Accesibilidad Chile
45 Bayern Tourismus Marketing Germany
46 Bed&Care Srl Italia
47 Beirut Research and Innovation Center Lebanon
48 Belarusian State University Belarus
49 Belgian Disability Forum (BDF) Belgium
50 Bevica Fonden Denmark
51 Brussels Capital Region Belgium
52 Buitengewoonreizen Netherlands
53 Bundesverband der Deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft Germany
54 Cabinet D'études Mission Tourisme France
55 Catalan Tourist Board Spain
56 CAWaB Belgium
57 Central European Initiative Italy
58 City Administration of Dresden Germany
59 City Council of Alcudia Spain
60 City of Bordeaux France
61 Commissariat Général au Tourisme (CGT) Belgium
62 Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque France
63 Consorcio de Promoción Exterior de Alcudia Spain
64 Consultant France
65 Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board Spain
66 Cox & Kings India
67 CTM Cagliari Italy
68 Cyprus Tourism Organisation Cyprus
69 DC Travel Australia
70 Délégation Générale du Québec à Bruxelles Canada
71 Destination Everywhere Accessible Travel Belgium
72 Destination Gold Coast Australia
73 Deutsche Hörfilm Germany
74 Disabled Peoples Organisation Denmark (DPOD) Denmark
75 DR Consultant France
76 Ecole De Technologie Supérieure De Montreal Canada
77 Eifel National Park Germany
78 EKY Accessibility Israel
79 Enable Travel (Cox & Kings) India
80 Enterprise Estonia Estonia
81 Epic Enabled South Africa
82 Erin P. Loughlin SLP Switzerland
83 ESTHUA / Angers University France
84 European Network for Accessible Tourism - ENAT Belgium
85 Evangelische Altenhilfe St. Georgen Germany
86 Everybody Travel and Wheeling Around the World Belgium
87 Expo 2020 Dubai United Arab Emirates
88 FDS Hotel Germany
89 Fédération des Gîtes de Wallonie Belgium
90 Fédération Des Parcs Naturels De Wallonie Belgium
91 Fédération du Tourisme de la Province de Liège Belgium
92 Federation of Nature Parks of Wallonia Belgium
93 Fédération Touristique Luxembourg Belge Belgium
94 Flemish Youth Hostel Association Belgium
95 Florence Planet Italy
96 Foire de Libramont Belgium
97 Förderverein Barrierefreie Schweiz Switzerland
98 Foundation for Environmental Education Denmark
99 Four Season Travel & Tours Nepal
100 FTLB Belgium
101 Fundación Handisport Spain
102 Funka Nu Sweden
103 GAL Ardenne Méridionale Belgium
104 German National Tourism Board Belgium
105 Australia
106 Global Alliance On Accessible Technology And Environments Canada
107 God Adgang / The Accessibility Label Denmark
108 Gouvernement Du Grand-Duché De Luxembourg - Ministère De L’économie Luxembourg
109 Gouvernement Wallon Belgium
110 Handisport Foundation Spain
111 Hasselt University - Transportation Research Institute Belgium
112 Heidehotel Bad Bevensen FDS Hotel Germany
113 Hérault Tourisme France
114 Hostelling International United Kingdom
115 I Wheel Share France
116 I Wheel Travel France
117 IDEAS Australia
118 Il Viaggio Travel Costa Rica
119 IMPLASER Spain
120 Inclusion asbl Belgium
121 Inclusive Tourism Australia
122 Indiana University United States
123 Info-handicap Luxembourg
124 Inter Vlaanderen Belgium
125 International Association Of Accessibility Professionals Usa
126 International Transport Forum - OECD France
127 Intishar for Tourist Patches Sudan
128 Israel 4 All Israel
129 Japan Accessible Tourism Center Japan
130 JBO Travel United States
131 Kéroul Canada
132 Le FOREM Belgium
133 Lebanese Union for People with Physical Disabilities Lebanon
134 Les Amis des Aveugles Ghlin asbl Belgium
135 Ligue Braille Belgium
136 France
137 Ljubljana Tourism Slovenia
138 Lonely Planet Australia
139 Lord Mayor In Charge Of Handicap France
140 Makingtrax NZ New Zealand
141 March of Dimes Canada Canada
142 Marnie Peters & Co / GAATES Canada
143 Martinique Access'île Martinique
144 MCI Belgium
145 Middelpunt Belgium
146 Mille Découvertes sur 4 Roulettes Belgium
147 Ministère de l'Économie du Luxembourg Luxembourg
148 Ministerium Ostbelgien Belgium
149 Ministry for Economy and Finances France
150 Ministry of the German-speaking Community of Belgium Belgium
151 Mission Tourisme France
152 Mistico Park Arenal Hanging Bridges Costa Rica
153 NATAGORA Belgium
154 National Trust United Kingdom
155 NatKo - Tourism for All Germany Germany
156 NeumannConsult Germany
157 NGO Sports Club of the Disabled "Odessa-Basket" Ukraine
158 North American Journeys United States
159 ODAR - Opera Diocesana Assistenza Religiosa Italy
160 Œuvre Fédérale les Amis des Aveugles et Malvoyants Belgium
161 Œuvre Nationale des Aveugles Belgium
162 Office de Tourisme France
163 Office des Personnes Handicapées du Québec Canada
164 Office Régional du Tourisme du Centre et de l'Ouest Luxembourg
165 OITS Belgium
166 Open Doors Organization United States
167 Paris Region Tourist Board France
168 Parks Canada Canada
169 Passe le Message à ton Voisin asbl Belgium
170 Passe Muraille Belgium
171 PBT Consult Netherlands
172 Peace Club For Persons with Disability Palestine
173 PictoAccess France
174 Plain-Pied Belgium
175 Polymorphe Design France
176 PREDIF Spain
178 Province Flemish Brabant Belgium
179 Puntodis. Accessible Solutions Spain
180 Q'STRAINT United Kingdom
181 RATP France
182 Red Costarricense Tursimo Accesible Costa Rica
183 Région Ile-de-France France
184 Regional Tourism Board Eislek Luxembourg
185 Regional Tourism Board Region Mullerthal Luxembourg
186 Rhineland-Palatinate Tourist Board c/o German National Tourist Board Germany
187 Rode Kruishotel Belgium
188 Ruhr Tourismus Germany
189 Samana Belgium
190 Schakel Vlaanderen/ Iedereen Verdient Vakantie Belgium
191 Seehotel Rheinsberg Germany
192 SixSense Travel Spain
193 Société Des Établissements De Plein Air Du Québec (SEPAQ) Canada
194 Soles Viajes Argentina
195 Speech Code Produktsicherheits Austria
196 Spleth France
197 Stad Gent - Dienst Toerisme Belgium
198 Strategies That Work Germany
199 Suisse Tourisme Handicap, TJ Groupe Switzerland
200 Tambo Blanquillo Peru
201 Teacher Creativity Center Palestine
202 TG (Tactile Tours) Italy
203 The Good Scout Travel Australia
204 The National Fund for Danish Nature & Coastal Tourism Denmark
205 TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg Germany
206 Toerisme Limburg Belgium
207 Toerisme Provincie Antwerpen Belgium
208 Toerisme voor Autisme Belgium
209 Tourism For All Germany R.A. Germany
210 Tourism Marketing Company of Saxony Germany
211 Tourisme Pour Tous Canada
212 Tourismuszentrale Rostock & Warnemünde Germany
213 Transfer Care Specialist Academy Canada
214 Transport Administration Stockholm County Council Sweden
215 Travel Counsellors United Kingdom
216 Travel-Dis Israel
217 Tricentenaire asbl Luxembourg
218 TUI Germany Germany
219 TUI UK & Ireland United Kingdom
220 Turismo Accesible Costa Rica Andorra
221 Turismo de Portugal Portugal
222 UD Woonlabo Belgium
223 UITP Belgium
224 Unamur Belgium
225 Unia Belgium
226 Unis C - Picto Access France
227 United Nations (UN) USA
228 Universal Design Living Lab (Ud Woonlabo) Belgium
229 Universite De La Rochelle / Adera France
230 Université du Québec à Montréal Canada
231 Université Du Québec À Trois-Rivières Canada
232 University College London United Kingdom
233 University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland Switzerland
234 University of Derby United Kingdom
235 Veranneman Belgium
236 VIA Rail Canada Canada
237 Videlis Seniorenreisen Germany
238 Village for all V4A® Italy
239 Ville de Bruxelles Belgium
240 Ville de Differdange Luxembourg
241 Ville de Victoriaville Canada
242 Visit Estonia Estonia
243 Visit Flanders Belgium
244 Belgium
245 VisitEngland United Kingdom
246 VisitScotland United Kingdom
247 Visualfy Spain
248 Vlaamse Jeugdherbergen Belgium
249 Wageningen University Omgevingswetenschappen Netherlands
250 WeTravel2 Belgium
251 USA
252 Germany
253 Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP USA
254 World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Spain
255 Yoola France
Over 370 participants are already registered, representing 40+ countries. View the list of countries (new window)

Over 370 participants are already registered, representing 40+ countries

The diversity and the origins of the participants to the summit prove that inclusive tourism, and the necessity for accessible destinations for all, is on the global agenda of all the major players in the tourism industry.

40+ countries have already registered to #dfa2018 

The following countries will be represented (in alphabetical order):

Andorra Argentina Australia Austria Barbados Belarus Belgium Brazil Canada Chile Costa Rica Cyprus Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany India Israel Italy Japan Lebanon Luxembourg Martinique Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Palestine Peru Poland Portugal Slovenia South Africa Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States

The participants represent a broad range of sectors such as government decision makers, destination managers, tourism business leaders, civil society actors, and professional associations in the tourism and travel industry.

Browse the list of registered organisations you can meet at Destinations for All 2018. Registered organisations (new window)

What about you?

If you would like to enhance your destinations or strengthen the position of your sector, it is time to join us! Together, we will find strategies to boost the accessibility of all destinations the world over.

Secure your spot and register now

Register to the Summit (new window)

Worth a visit this summer in Brussels: Exhibition "The Art of Difference"

The Art of Difference Exhibition Scientific Responses to Disability, Appropriations & Individual Expertise Through Art

From 20 June to 26 August 2018 BOZARLAB, in Brussels The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), in partnership with BOZAR and in collaboration with other research centres at ULB and VUB, presents the exhibition The Art of Difference, a scientific, historical and artistic exhibition dedicated to disabilities. [caption id="attachment_3741" align="alignleft" width="348"] Kiera Roche portant la Floral Porcelaine Leg - photographie Rosemary Williams & Nadav Kander © The Alternative Limb Project[/caption] Exoskeletons, glasses for the visually impaired, bionic prosthetics... the research on sensory, motor and mental disabilities has led to countless inventions stemming from new technologies. These innovations have undoubtedly improved the daily lives of people living with handicaps and of their carers, but they have also opened new social debates on and forms of protest against human enhancement and transhumanism. These debates are also a topic of reflection and critique by artists. The perspective taken by the exhibition will show a wide range of historical objects, placing the emphasis on digital devices, visual arts, outsider art, short films and objects designed with the latest technologies. It will be divided into four themes: perceive, experience, challenge and imagine. The exhibition The Art of Difference falls in line with the Year of Diversity (Année des Diversités) at ULB and is supported by the City of Brussels. The Art of Difference addresses the general public (a trilingual exhibition in FR/NL/EN), and bilingual students will be trained to welcome and guide visitors (school groups, non-profit organisations and visits specifically for those with visual or auditory impairments). Click here for more information (new window) The Art of Difference : scientific responses to disability & appropriations through art. June 20th - August 26th. Bozar centre for Fine Arts Brussels.

35 countries from every continent have already registered!

The diversity and the origins of the participants to the summit prove that inclusive tourism, and the necessity for accessible destinations for all, is on the global agenda of all the major players in the tourism industry.

Several hundred participants from 35 countries have already registered to #dfa2018 

The following countries are already represented: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Martinique, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The participants represent a broad range of sectors such as government decision makers, destination managers, tourism business leaders, civil society actors, and professional associations in the tourism and travel industry.

What about you?

If you would like to enhance your destinations or strengthen the position of your sector, it is time to join us! Together, we will find strategies to boost the accessibility of all destinations the world over.

Secure your spot and register now

Register to the Summit (new window)

Win a lot of prizes with your summer photos or videos

Show us your accessible holiday! Post your best holiday photo or video on social networks and win a lot of prizes thanks to the Access-i contest. Pictures can be taken anywhere in the world ! 80% of the prizes will reward photos / videos made in Wallonia and 20% of the prizes will reward photos / videos made everywhere else (no geographical limits). Deadline 15 September 2018 Prizes Nights in accessible hotels and guesthouses, tickets to the Ronquières festival, more than 225 entries in tourist or cultural attractions, media and press subscriptions and many other gifts. What kind of photos or videos? Photos or videos of you enjoying your holidays! Show us your joy of living in autonomy and "inclusion"! Who can participate? This contest is open to people who face mobility problems: reduced mobility, low vision, hard of hearing, understanding difficulties, pregnant women, families with strollers, children, seniors, ... How to proceed?
  1. Read how to compete by reading the first post at the top of the Access-i Facebook page (new window) (As you are around, you can also like it although it does not influence the jury's choice :-)).
  2. Register via this form (new window).
  3. Specify whether you plan to take photos or videos or both.
  4. Post your photos and / or videos on our Facebook page by specifying the location. You can also post on your FB page and tag Access-i (“@Access-i”).
  5. Share your photos and/or videos on Instagram and Twitter by tagging Access-i (“@accessi.certification" on Instagram and "@certifaccessi" on Twitter). Videos should also be shared on YouTube by tagging "Access-i".
  6. Your video will also be shared on the Access-i YouTube channel.
Selection and jury The winners and the finalists will be selected by a carefully composed jury: Journalists, bloggers with specific needs, Access-i members and Cawab members. The winners will be selected by the jury and on basis of the number of likes received (all social media channels combined). The vote of the jury weighs 50% to the 50% number of likes. About the organisers, Access-i HomeThe purpose of the Access-i non-profit organization is to promote information on the accessibility of goods and services to people with special needs.

Good luck to all of you !

The Québec Government Office will actively support the Summit

A welcome sponsorship! We are delighted to have the enthusiastic support from the Québec Government, who continuously promotes the 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism! The Québec Government Office in Brussels also supports the welcome cocktail reception that will take place at the Summit’s venue, The Egg Conference & Meeting Center in Brussels on 30 September 2018, at 18.00‒20.00. Québec has put a great deal of effort into making tourist sites and services accessible to visitors with special needs. The province is vast with numerous natural and cultural attractions. None of which should be off limits to anyone with a disability. Inaugurated in 1972, the Québec Government Office in Brussels seeks to promote Québec and its interests in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as within other institutions throughout the European Union. Québec, an exciting province, accessible to all “Québec for all is a database of over 1,700 tourism and cultural organizations and businesses assessed by Kéroul and certified fully or partially accessible, spread across 21 regions of Québec. Looking for an inspiring, authentic and accessible destination? You’ve come to the right place! Québec For All (new window) Register now to take part in the Summit and make sure not to miss the welcome reception on 30 September 2018. It promises to be a wonderful evening thanks to the support of the Québec Government Office. Don't miss the welcome reception, register to the Summit (new window)

Session spotlight: Travels around the world

"Everyone loves some handy tips and tricks, right? How about a huge list of all the ways we have personally improved our services, our offer and worked cooperatively with the hospitality and travel industries to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities?" This session "Travels around the world" is given by the four following world travel specialists: The top 8 accessible tourist destinations in Europe (and 4 of the Most Difficult) [caption id="attachment_3169" align="alignright" width="150"] John Sage (Accessible Travel Solutions - USA)[/caption] John Sage | Accessible Travel Solutions (USA) Most people don’t have the time, money, or energy to visit all of the worthwhile destinations in Europe. If a disabled traveler can only take a few European vacations, how should they prioritize their list? Full abstract and biography (new window) ‘The Superhero Team’ movie formula for an accessible tourism endeavor [caption id="attachment_3170" align="alignright" width="150"] Rustom Irani (Cox & Kings (Enable Travel) - India)[/caption] Rustom Irani  | Cox & Kings-Enable Travel (India) According to the census, 20.3% of the Indian population are wheelchair bound, 18.8% are vision impaired, 18.9% are hearing impaired and 7.5% are speech impaired. Travel for the disabled is an untapped market which holds tremendous potential. Category creation and market penetration will be key. Full abstract and biography (new window) Twelve months that will change the world  [caption id="attachment_3171" align="alignright" width="150"] Richard Thompson (Travel Counsellors - UK)[/caption] Richard Thompson | Travel Counsellors (UK) Let's change the way the wider industry views the sector: The ‘Making Travel Accessible World Tour’ project is developped across Australia, South Africa, the UAE, Netherlands & Belgium and Ireland to inculcate thinking and practical approach that will transform the future travel opportunities of those who may believe they have none. Full abstract and biography (new window) Follow the needs - experiences and insides from more than 25 years of activity as a tour operator in accessible tourism  [caption id="attachment_3172" align="alignright" width="150"] Holger Kähler (Videlis Seniorenreisen e.V. - Germany)[/caption] Holger Kähler | Videlis Seniorenreisen e.V. (Germany)   Although every handicapped traveller is unique in their needs, there are some core-requirements most of them share. Let's have a look on how to organise barrier-free group trips following the travel chain. Full abstract and biography (new window) Discover the Summit programme (new window) Wait no longer, book your place at the Summit! (new window)

Building and promoting accessibility to ensure a welcome for all is a great concept – but how?

Speakers share their resources and experiences: adventuring in New Zealand, visiting Germany, making a destination accessible, or combining accessibility with design.

Urban transformation: steps to follow

Lenna Klintworth - destination management officer for the regional tourism organisation Destination Gold Coast in Australia, will explain the substantial transformation and infrastructural requirements that the City of Gold Coast has achieved to welcome the world to the largest ever inclusive Commonwealth Games in 2018 (GC2018). A starting point that transformed the City of Gold Coast into the most accessible city in the State of Queensland! It will shown you the way to inclusiveness. Accessibility, a competitive economic factor For Luc Thulliez of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in France, working on accessibility for all also offers significant economic opportunities. While France launches two national labels -Tourisme & Handicap (T & H, France) and Destinations pour Tous (DPT, France)- Luc will present its strategy for developing and promoting Accessible tourism labels in close relations with private and public stakeholders. Luc will give concrete tips and tricks on how we can make this reference of accessible tourism a reality and promote a country like France as a tourist destination for all.

A well-studied design

How to combine functionality, accessibility and cutting-edge design? Ditte Kahlström Jansson of the Stockholm Transport Administration in Sweden is an expert on this question. To make transport accessible, social, environmental, technical and other considerations must also be taken into account. Thinking about and determining an accessibility-for-all project from the outset is a key factor. Discover the Summit programme (new window) Wait no longer, book your place at the Summit! (new window)

The 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism will take place in Brussels on 1-2 October 2018

People with reduced mobility want to travel like everyone else

People with reduced mobility make up 35% of the population and rarely travel alone. It is in the tourism sector’s interest to develop accessible destinations for a section of the population that expects only one thing: to be able to travel as easily as everyone else! The 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism aims at sharing and disseminating best practices as much possible with the tourism sector in order to consolidate a global network of destinations for all, accessible to people with specific needs. SUMMIT WEBSITE (new window)  

Five core topics to help build obstacle-free travel for all 

The Summit will be held in Brussels (The Egg) on the 1st and 2nd of October 2018. The programme will include a series of innovative ideas, specific case studies, experiences and best practices during the plenary and parallel sessions throughout the two-day event. The main topics of discussion will be:
  1. Destination Management
  2. Hosting and Security
  3. Accommodation
  4. Transport and Mobility
  5. Leisure Products and Activities
In parallel to the Summit, an exhibition will allow you to discover accessible tourist destinations, products and services from all over the world. SESSIONS THEMES AND TOPICS (new window)

Insights into the 'must-attend' sessions and topics heading the agenda

Browse the online Summit programme (new window) and discover the array of 85 inspiring talks to be given in the 25 working sessions on offer throughout the event, and topics that will fuel discussions to motivate the industry. To organise this Summit, the Summit Committee has gathered 120 thought leaders and innovative entrepreneurs sharing the same passion, drive, and expertise. PROGRAMME, SPEAKERS AND SUBJECTS (new window) Designed for those willing to find solutions to help craft the future The Summit and its Exhibition is an exclusive event designed specifically for all professionals in the hospitality industry and actors in the tourism chain who have a direct interest in inclusive tourism and who wish to offer an obstacle-free travel experience to all visitors:
  • Tourism organizations and companies responsible for destinations, travel, and transportation
  • Government decision makers
  • Destination managers
  • Civil society actors
  • Professional associations
Participating or exhibiting are unique opportunities to make B2B connections, exchange ideas, catch up on industry developments, strengthen client relationships, and forge important new business connections with 500+ highly invested attendees.

Register now and Join #dfa2018 to debate the latest innovations in accessible tourism

Save this date and register for the World Summit on Accessible Tourism, the leading meeting platform that will address the challenges facing inclusive tourism. DON’T DELAY, REGISTER NOW (new window) 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism – Destinations for All: Brussels, 1-2 October 2018 The Egg Conference Centre (new window)  

Unveiling sessions themes and topics

We now have 23 well-balanced sessions in our five core topics: destination management, hosting and security, accommodation, leisure products and activities, and transport and mobility. Discover the array of fascinating topics that will fuel discussions
  1. National strategies
  2. Regional strategies
  3. Urban strategies
  4. Urban development
  5. Inclusive accomodations
  6. Territory labeling program
  7. Standards and expertise
  8. Certified destinations
  9. Travels around the world
  10. Availability of accessible taxis
  11. Public transport for tourists with reduced mobility
  12. Air transport
  13. Customers, design, territories : new perspectives
  14. Blogs, social media and travel decisions
  15. Influencers
  16. Accessibility tools
  17. Information and planning
  18. Training on welcoming of tourists with special needs
  19. Facilitators of stays
  20. Techno Lab
  21. Adventure tourism and outdoor activities
  22. Parks and nature
  23. Sports and leisure activities
Abstracts authors will receive notification by 9 May to confirm whether or not their submissions have been accepted for inclusion in the Summit. The pre-programme and speakers will be published by mid-May. See the rundown on our rigorous preparation work (new window)

Insights into the #dfa2018 abstracts and speakers selection process

Preparing the programme for #dfa2018 is an exciting process!

Follow our #dfa2018 programme preparation work

1 April - 28 April 2018: Abstracts revision by the Programme Committee  Our international Programme Committee (new window), made up of 25 experts from business and academic bodies, spent hours working together in April, revising the abstracts. The abstracts submitted to the Summit were independently reviewed by three members of the Programme Committee who assessed them on their relevance to the Summit’s themes in terms of topic, innovation, interest, consistency, presentation, conclusion and transferability. They kept on reviewing and grading in the most objective way! The aim of the Programme Committee and the Organising Committee? To create a robust and competitive programme, ensuring that #dfa2018 will continue to be a major Summit whose aim is to ensure that the entire tourism chain, including transportation, offers an obstacle-free experience to all visitors, worldwide! Discover the people heading up our Programme Committee (new window)

28 April - 3 May 2018: The Organising Committee meeting up to prepare the pre-programme 

We now have all of the content in our hands, so let’s get started and build the programme!   Day 1 (28 April) : Preparations for #dfa2018 on the way The Organising Committee met in Belgium for six days. Michel Trudel and Jean-François Lavoie (Kéroul (new window)) came from Canada to kick off the Summit’s pre-programme with #dfa2018 co-chairman Vincent Snoeck (Atingo), Mathieu Angelo (CAWaB - Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie Bruxelles (new window)), and Anne-Sophie Marchal (Atingo). Day 2 (29 April) : Work in progress We received 136 abstracts from 31 different countries. The review process by the Programme Committee took four weeks, following the close of the call for abstracts. It is really encouraging to see submissions and best practices of such high standard! Day 3 (30 April) : Very good work has been achieved already thanks to our Programme Committee!  Using the combined scores and Programme Committee members’ recommendations, the Organising Committee selected the abstracts, compiled them and started building the sessions for this year's Summit. We rely heavily on the recommendations from the abstracts review team to make these decisions!   Day 4 (1 May) : Fuelling the Summit programme The clock is ticking – just a few hours remain for the #dfa2018 pre-programme to be finalized. Our experts continued matching the abstracts and the sessions. Rigorously reviewing, sorting, and organizing to soon have the final compilation! The tension is rising: the final selection and programming is in our hands.  Day 5 (2 May) : Rigorous preparation Yay! We came to 23 well-balanced sessions in the Summit five core topics, destination management, hosting and security, accommodation, leisure products and activities, and transport and mobility! In the coming days, abstracts authors will receive notifications to confirm whether or not their submissions have been accepted for inclusion in the Summit. Day 6 (03 May) : Mission accomplished 100%! Our experts were elated! Our World Summit on Accessible Tourism is assured of being one of the most respected meetings for innovation and best practices for the development of accessible destinations the world over, and we are getting ready to welcome you. On behalf of #dfa2018, we would like to thank all the applicants for their participation and engagement and for submitting their abstracts as well as our Programme Committee members! Browse our sessions themes (new window)

Announcing strategic partnership with Naidex

Naidex in Birmingham on 25 & 26 April 2018 is Europe’s the largest event for the disability sector. Destinations for All 2018 and Naidex have formed a strategic alliance, aimed at improving the development of an inclusive tourism. [caption id="attachment_2065" align="alignnone" width="300"] Naidex 2018[/caption]

The interactive features at this year’s @NaidexShow look incredible - have you got your free tickets? Register here (new window)

NEW! Announcing the #DFA2018 special bloggers roundtable

Make the most of this opportunity  Learn how to help your organisation to stay ahead of the curve in the tourism and travel sector thanks to the experiences of people with disabilities. Join us to unlock the secrets of online communities and channels! This session will be moderated by one of the largest accessible travel websites, blogger John Morris and led by a number of renowned bloggers, digital marketing and social media strategists.
  • What information do bloggers transmit to convince their peers?
  • What is important in their messages? How do they manage the contents?
  • What do they particularly like about their travels? What are they looking for?

You can only win by joining this unmissable roundtable discussion, and we hope to see you there!

The detailed programme for this session is in gestation. Stay tuned for more information. About John Morris (new window) The session will be held on 1-2 October in Brussels as part of Destinations for All 2018. View the programme-at-a-glance (new window)

How influence and cooperation can create new opportunities for accessible tourism?

John Morris  –  globetrotter, influencer, blogger and advocate for inclusion. During #dfa2018, John will share a set of best practices and opportunities for businesses and destinations for engaging with and responding to the needs and demands of travellers with disabilities. Seminar: Influence, Cooperation Create New Opportunities for Accessible Tourism “As the demand for accessible tourism increases, popular movements seeking greater accessibility and the implementation of universal design practices are ripe for development. Such movements, borne out of discontent with elements of the (inaccessible) status quo, should be seen by governments, destinations and business owners as an opportunity, rather than a liability.” As the operator of, one of the largest accessible travel websites on the Internet, John Morris represents tens of thousands of readers with disabilities from the United States and around the world who all share a passionate desire and determination to travel, and who should therefore play an important part  in the travel economy. Thanks to his large readership and his own extensive travel experiences, which have given him a unique perspective on the disabled traveller, John Morris has become an influential spokesman for universal travel. He has involved the government and travel providers in the promotion of inclusive development and business practices. With his passionate commitment to furthering the interest of travellers with disabilities, and examples of his dealings with legislators, government agencies, businesses, and the travel industry, he will share a set of best practices for engaging with and responding to the needs and demands of disabled travellers. “Collaboration with leaders across the disability community is a winning strategy for all parties, and will be critical to maintaining growth in the accessible travel sector.” About John Morris John Morris is the founder of (Orlando, FL, USA) and the owner of the Accessible Development Group. He holds a Bachelor's degree in History and Political Science and Master's degree in History  from Florida State University and is now a resident of Orlando. A triple amputee as the result of an accident, John is known for travelling the world with one hand, a passport and his power wheelchair, and he has become an advocate for inclusion within the travel industry. At #dfa2018, John Morris will eloquently share his vision for a world open to people with disabilities, and how it is possible to interest businesses and destination operators in the opportunities within the accessible travel marketplace. This main sesssion will be held on 1-2 October 2018 in Brussels as part of Destinations for All 2018. View the programme-at-a-glance (new window)

Providing accessible taxi services in all our cities and communities

In the chain of accessible tourism and travel, taxis represent a very important link Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of the International Union of Public Transport (UITP) has just confirmed his attendance at the 2018 Destinations for All, World Summit, where he will moderate a session that will focus on the mission to create accessible and affordable taxi services for people with disabilities within our local communities. The session will address the main objective laid out in Article 10 of “A World for Everyone” that taxi and limousine dispatch companies areto provide transportation services for persons with disabilities equivalent to those enjoyed by the general public”, and which was adopted in Montreal in 2014. The article is explicit in its stance on taxi accessibility for wheelchair users. Local authorities and public transport companies cannot continue to remain indifferent to the need for mobility for all, for any length of time. For this reason, UITP General Secretary Mohamed Mezghani will head the special seminar on this topic. The question of "How to ensure taxi service accessibility to everyone in each of our communities?” will be highlighted and central to the discussion.  Eight international experts will present their experiences and opinions. This seminar will undoubtedly raise considerable interest from local authorities, especially those whose communities do not benefit from such a transport service. About the UITP UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) is the International Association of Public Transport and a passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility. It is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. UITP is represented by 1500 member companies in 96 countries, and has 18,000 contact members and 16 offices worldwide. Mohamed Mezghani, the UITP Secretary General, will welcome the following speakers
  • Matthew Daus, President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR). The association is dedicated to the regulation of passenger conveyance particularly taxi and for-hire transportation. Mr Daus is a lawyer and Distinguished Lecturer at City University of New York and former Commissioner and Chairman of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.
  • Ms Ann Frye, an internationally renowned expert in the field of transportation services for people with disabilities and the elderly. She has worked at the European Commission, the International Transportation Forum and the United Nations, notably on the economic aspects of transporting disabled and elderly people.
  • Ms Mary Crass, Head of Institutional Relations and Summit, International Transport Forum.
  • Mr Eric Lipp, Executive Director of the Open Doors/Open Taxis Organization in Chicago. This representative organization of persons with disabilities now manages the accessible taxi service available throughout the City of Chicago and is funded by a contribution from all non-accessible taxis.
  • Ms Katy O’Reilly, Program Coordinator, Open Doors Organization, Chicago.
  • Ms Isabelle Ducharme, Chairman of the Board of Kéroul (Montreal) and member of the International Association of Transportation Regulators Advisory Committee (IATR). Disabled herself, Ms Ducharme has repeatedly presented a universal solution to the availability of accessible taxi services.
  • Mr André Leclerc, President and Chief Executive Officer and founder of Kéroul and member of the Board of Directors of the Bureau du taxi de Montréal. Mr. Leclerc chaired the Committee on the Universal Accessibility of the Montreal Taxi Industry, which recommended a standard for the availability of an accessible taxi service in Montreal.
More to come... UITP also plans to host a public transport accessibility workshop to discuss industry best practices  as described in the brochure "Travel for all : the commitment of European public transport (new window) " The detailed programme for this public transport accessibility workshop is in gestation. Stay tuned for more information. The session will be held on Monday 1 October in Brussels as part of #DFA2018 View the programme-at-a-glance (new window)

Abstract submission now open: Your practices, findings and ideas matter!

Get a chance to present your latest findings and innovations in accessible tourism in front of leisure and travel professionals, governements and fellows. Shape the 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism with us! Developing destination management, improving hosting and security, innovating in accommodation and leisure products and activities, future-proofing transport and mobility… Destinations for All 2018 is seeking for your innovative ideas, specific case studies, experiences and best practices.

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Abstract submission for oral presentation is now open
  • Do you have a lesson or best practices worth sharing?
  • Do you have an experience worth telling?
  • Do you have an idea worth exploring?
Don't miss the deadline of 18 March 2018, let's design the programme by submitting an abstract today.

Submit your abstract now (new window)

Early birds benefit from a lower registration fee

Registration is now open ! Register now for lowest rates! We have tiered our registration rates and the early-bird rate offers a €150 reduction on delegates’ fees.    Early-bird rate: save €150 Regular rate: save €50 Last-minute booking: No discount!

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The registration fee includes:
  • Access to the full summit plenary sesssions and parallel sessions
  • Access to the summit exhibition
  • Access to the Welcome Reception
  • Final programme and summit materials
  • Meals and refreshment breaks during the two days (coffee breaks, buffet lunch)

Build • Promote • Welcome

The Accessible Tourism Chain The second World Summit on Accessible Tourism will present latest innovations and best practices for the development of destinations for all. In parallel to the Summit, an exhibition will allow you to discover accessible tourist destinations, products and services from all over the world.

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Exhibition "Destinations for All" The combination of the Summit and the exhibition will offer the occasion to exchange and share experiences between tourism operatorssuppliersinstitutionsassociations and service providers. It is a exclusive opportunity to showcase your innovation and best practices in terms of accessible destinations worldwide.

Download the sponsorship & exhibition brochure (new window)

Do not miss the unique opportunity to find leads, answers and solutions for you to become "destination for all".

Contribute to game-changing developments in the accessible tourism chain on 1-2 October 2018

The Summit will bring together several hundred leaders and decision-makers from governments, the civil society, professional associations, the tourism and travel sectors. The goal of this unique event is to respond to the reality of tomorrow by establishing concrete measures, and promoting latest findings of the Accessible Tourism chain. Visit the Summit Website (new window)
Destination For All is also the key player to implement concrete measures, with “One World for Everyone” The declaration “One World for Everyone”, adopted at the 2014 Summit in Montréal (organised by Kéroul) is a very concrete action plan that commits all signatories to implement, globally and in their respective countries, 40 specific measures on Accessible Tourism. Numerous companies in the tourism, travel and transportation sectors as well as local, national and international authorities already adopted this charter dictated by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
Leveraging best practices: We value your input! To prepare the Summit and to provide an excellent experience, we are benchmarking the best practices worldwide. Let’s inspire each other, share the best experiences you have witnessed and we will present them during the Summit in exactly one year from now! Share Your Input
We are looking forward to discover your input & proposals!

Save the date

Following the first edition of the World Summit on Accessible Tourism organised by Kéroul in Montreal in 2014, the second edition of the Destinations for All Summit, developed by the Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles (CAWaB), will be taking place in Brussels, the capital of Europe, from 1-2 October 2018 at The Egg Congress & Meeting Center Brussels.

Key objectives of this years’ edition are, innovations and best practices for the development of accessible destinations for all. The objectives will be linked to three major aspects of the accessible tourism chain:

Build — Availability of accessible infrastructures Promote — Knowledge & best practice sharing in the field of inclusive tourism Welcome — Guarantee of quality service for all thanks to specific training programmes

In conjunction with the Summit, an exhibition, focusing on ‘Accessible Leisure and Holiday’ will be hosted, allowing participants to discover and promote accessible tourist destinations in Europe and the rest of the world.

Interested to learn more about the programme and Summit developments? Click here to be added to our newsletter (new window).

To support the Summit and learn more about potential partnership opportunities, we invite you to contact us per email: (new window)

Do not miss this unique opportunity and mark your calendar today!

We are looking forward to seeing you in Brussels.