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Spain ‘leading the way for accessible travel’ says Limitless Travel CEO

Spain ‘leading the way for accessible travel’ says Limitless Travel CEO

Spain has positioned itself as a ‘top accessible travel destination’, delegates at this week’s Spain Sustainability Day were told.

Accessibility and inclusivity were high on the agenda for Turespania, Spain’s tourist board, at its second Spain Sustainability Day in London on Wednesday.

Delegates heard of how Spain is dedicated to improving accessibility, eliminating discrimination and improving diversity within the travel sector, including a new Spain For All campaign fronted by Ade Adeptan.

Panellist Alberto Gutierrez Alberca spoke of the accessible developments in public transport across the country, stating that local busses in Madrid and Barcelona are 100% accessible and accessibility is guaranteed in metro stations in Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Malaga and Bilbao. Spain’s High speed train network is also 100% accessible.

“Getting into the cities is just as important as getting around them,” said Gutierrez Alberca. “We need to see more accessible taxis available to transport those with disabilities between the airport.”

Valladolid Miguel Carrasco, Director of Tourism at Impulsa Ogualdad has launched TUR4all, a travel agency that personalises trips to accommodate specific accessibility requirements. Each trip is reviewed by accessibility experts and designed according to a clients’ preferences and accessibility requirements.

“It is important that we get as much detail from our clients as possible about their wants and needs so that we can ensure that every detail is taken care of,” said Carrasco.

“Spain has so much to offer travellers with additional accessibility needs and has adapted so many of its attractions, such as museums and parks, to be accessible to all.”

Angus Drummond, CEO, Limitless Travel shared his own personal experiences when travelling with a disability and expressed how impressed he was with Spain’s inclusive attitude.

“Spain is leading the way when it comes to accessible travel,” said Drummond. “Spanish people have a very inclusive approach and it’s encouraging to see accessibility initiatives at the forefront of the agenda.

Drummond urged the travel industry not to dismiss travellers with accessibility needs, saying: “People with disabilities want to be treated the same as any other client and this shouldn’t mean settling for a lower standard of holiday. Suppliers need to build a product that meets the individual needs of the traveller, like they would any other client, and not treat those with accessibility requirements as a ‘risk’ or ‘compliance issue’.”

 “Suppliers need to instil confidence that a client will be fully supported beyond the holiday and offer an extra level of attention to detail.”

Susan Deer, Director of Industry Relations for ABTA, believes that everyone that works in travel should have a basic understanding of what is required when booking accessible trips.

Deer said: “It is important that agents don’t just assume what a client needs and instead actually take the time to ask.”

 She added: “We work direct with those who have accessibility needs to provide dedicated training as we believe access to information is crucial in this sector. 

“Having lived experiences helps to build awareness and trust.”

spain.info

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