Two days of discussion for nations, tourist destinations, entities and companies on the right to ‘tourism for all’ in the presence of Ministers and technical experts of the sector.
On 16 and 17 November the Kursaal Congress Centre of the Republic of San Marino will host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) International Conference: “TOURISM FOR ALL – Advancing accessibility for destinations, companies and people” The conference will include two days of conferences, round tables and leading panels to promote “tourism for all” and discuss what steps the world of tourism must take to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the right to tourism. San Marino hosts a new conference on accessible tourism 9 years after the last one. Together with Italy and UNWTO, San Marino will provide a platform for governments, destinations and the private sector to discuss the best ways to prioritize accessibility in any tourism policy or strategy. The goal of this event is to demonstrate once again that making tourist destinations and companies accessible will pave the way for the future. The conference will see the participation of Ministers and authorities from different countries of the world as well as technical experts from public and private organisations.
The conference will open with a welcoming speech by Minister of Tourism Federico Pedini Amati and Italian Minister of Tourism Daniela Santanchè, who have co-organised the event together with the World Tourism Organization, which will be represented by Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director. A fireside chat with Martyn Sibley, co-founder and CEO of Purple Goat Agency and Disability Horizons will open the conference. The event will continue with a ministerial round table dedicated to the topic “How can strategic leadership advance concrete accessibility achievements?” The panel will focus on the role of public administrations in driving inclusive policies and strategies and applying standards which cater to host communities and visitors. The debate will focus on a ministerial position paper and highlight specific achievements and projects of policy-makers, which inspire further peer-to-peer dialogue and will involve Minister Federico Pedini Amati, Celso Sabino de Oliveira, Minister of Tourism of Brazil, Mi-ran Jang, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Jan Fluxa, Deputy Minister of Regional Development of Czechia, Umid Shadiev, Chairperson of the Tourism Committee of Uzbekistan, Peleg Lewi, Foreign Affairs Senior Advisor to the Minister for Tourism of Israel, and Valentina Superti, Director of Tourism at European Commission.
Among the guests will also be Princess Haifa bint Muhammad Al Saud, Deputy Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, who returns to San Marino a few months after her last visit, thus confirming the excellent relations between the two countries in the field of tourist development.
The event will continue with a discussion on international accessibility standards as guidance tools, and with an insight into European Accessibility Resource Centre AccessibleEU, aimed at driving forward the implementation of EU accessibility policies and legislation in all 27 EU Member States, engaging public authorities, accessibility professionals, private companies, educators and NGOs. Speakers will include Jesús Hernández Galán, Director of EU Accessibility Resource Centre AccessibleEU; Igor Stefanovic, Technical Coordinator of the UNWTO Ethics, Culture and Social Responsibility Department / UNWTO Specialist on Accessible Tourism, and Andrea Zavoli, professor and founder of the non-profit organization “Vento in faccia”
The following discussion will focus on solutions to ensure accessibility within transport and mobility industry, infrastructure, services and devices, addressing visitors with specific access requirements and seniors in the different stages of their journey. Speakers will include Linda Ristagno from IATA (International Air Transport Association), Hilal Kahraman from Istanbul Airport, Svend Wandaas from Municipal Transport in Oslo and Italian Senator Luca Briziarelli.
Architect Katerina Papamichail, accessibility expert from the European Network for Accessible Tourism will take the floor in the afternoon. The discussion will focus on universal access to cultural heritage and protected natural areas and on how to improve people’s comfort, safety and quality of life. Speakers will include Stefano Dominioni, Director, European Institute of Cultural Routes, Council of Europe, Antonio Caponetto, Head of the Department for Policies for Persons with Disabilities and Advisor to the Minister for Disabilities, Dino Angelaccio, President of ITRIA – Intercultural and Accessible Religious Tourist Itineraries, Sonia García Fraile, Technician at the Accessibility and Innovation Directorate, ONCE Foundation, and Baptiste Hottekiet, Director of the Parc naturel du Pays des Collines, Wallonia.
The second day’s work will open with a speech on legislative frameworks by Gianluca Caramanna, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Head of the Parliamentary Group on Productive Activities, and with a technical panel on disability inclusion in sports, leisure and events moderated by Briony Brookes, Head of PR and Communications for Tourism in Cape Town. Panelists will include Thomas Deschamps, Director of the Observatory on Sustainable and Accessible Tourism, Paris, Je t’aime-Paris, who has been involved in the organization of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Helena Ribeiro, Accessible Tourism Project Manager from Portugal, Ignatios Fotiou, President of TOBEA, Riccardo Giuseppe Capo, Managing Director of Mirabilandia, Alberto Dellavalle, Infrastructure Director of the Municipality of Rimini.
In the framework of the event, “The Lovely Places” project will be presented to be followed by a discussion on “Accessibility as a business opportunity: how does it benefit the tourism industry?” with Ross Calladine from Visit England, Thodoris Tzoumas, mayor of Skiathos, Tommaso Bertini from Alpitour,
Javier Sancho from Hilton Hotels, Beatriz Miguel Díez from ILUNION Hotels, Maurizio Borletti from San Marino Outlet Experience, and Aleksandar Bajic from Curae.me.
The goal of the conference is to define the ‘”San Marino Action Agenda”, a document that will define the guidelines for developing a tourism based on accessibility and sustainability – in line with the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 – as well as on respect for people with disabilities, while, at the same time, making the Republic of San Marino into a permanent hub for designing policies on inclusiveness.