The 27th of September has been celebrated for 46 years now as the World Tourism Day. The initiative and support was given by the United Nations and it continues to act as one of their agencies. 

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.

This year celebration was  dedicated to the theme ‘Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility.’

“As one billion people across the globe have some kind of disability, accessibility becomes and will continue to be a major concern for us all” was one of the main messages connected with the 2016 World Tourism Day

We, people working in tourism, not just relating to health and wellbeing, need to create more accessibility, for all including the ageing groups. We need to provide better services for all.

It is important and ethical that nobody should be left behind. That is why the tourist professionals have to do more, understand better the requirements of the various groups and their needs.

“People with disabilities, aged citizens, families with children and many more find obstacles when they travel. As tourism is a human right, the sector should advance to ensure that all citizens enjoy seamless travel in an equal manner,” said UN World Tourism Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his message.

The recent discussions we had with our medical providers – partners about their products and services aiming to increase the accessibility of their premises will certainly add value to the destinations and constitute an immense opportunity for the future business activities.

We all have somebody who finds difficulties when travelling: family members, friends and colleagues, so we all are affected and can benefit from accessible travel measures”

It is right to say that sooner or later all of us will suffer circumstances that impede us moving freely and independently, so adapting universal accessibility principles will benefit us all. The estimate is that by 2050, as much as 22% of the world population will be over 60 years old and thus have specific access needs.

Reaching universal accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility of all parties involved in the tourism value chain, as well as a business opportunity for companies and destinations.