PODCAST| Chiara Nicoletti interviews Ivor Ambrose, managing director of the European Network for Accessible Tourism.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
As keynote speaker of the 2019 edition of Arsad, Ivan Ambrose has opened a whole world to the accessibility professionals who often focus on the entertainment business, mostly audiovisual products. Managing director of the European Network for Accessible Tourism, Ambrose has talked about tourism as a human right and as such, something that people should always be able to do, whatever their physical condition is. Ivan Ambrose then speaks about the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain and how it can be developed. If only one element of the chain is failing, then the whole system will shut down. In Ambrose’s abstract, there’s also an analysis on The European Accessibility Act, 2019 that was recently passed with a detailed list of the achievements and the elements that are still a work in progress.
This presentation puts the spotlight on the tourism industry and, in particular, on the increasing demands for “accessible” experiences for all visitors. People with disabilities and the massive numbers of senior travellers clearly have a stake in the delivery of accessible tourism environments and services but, taking a global view, progress towards ensuring equal access for all visitors is typically very “patchy” or even nonexistent. The tourism industry as a whole needs to do better but given the multi-facetted characteristics of the sector, how do we address this challenge? What role can we play? Information management plays a crucial role in enabling travel and tourism, at all stages of the visitor journey and across the service delivery chain. Information and communication technologies are, indeed, changing the way we search, book, check-in, travel and experience our surroundings. With mobile devices we can browse a menu and order a meal, followed up with a multimedia message to family, friends and rating websites. Gradually, multi-modal systems and devices are bringing possibilities to groups of people who were previously ignored or who were excluded by technologies. I believe there are many “bright spots” and good practices in the tourism field that give us hope and perhaps point the way to a better future, where all people will have the confidence and ability to travel and where truly accessible experiences are increasingly available. As researchers and developers let us consider how we might take up the challenge of acting as intermediaries between the tourism providers, the cultural and creative industries and the visitors, with the goal of creating accessible tourism experiences for all.
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