Accessible and inclusive tourism, a right for all
Text and photos Mercy Ramos
For any person, with or without disabilities, being able to enjoy tourist environments, products and services is an irrevocable right, hence the need for every day all the countries of the world to work and strive to achieve accessible and inclusive tourism. Regarding this, Diego Javier González Velasco (Spain), President of the Ibero-American Network of Accessible Tourism (RITURACCES) and of his country's REDESTABLE, spoke exclusively with this magazine, since he is in Cuba participating in the 13th Edition of Nature Tourism (Turnat 2022), which will take place until the next day 24 in the west of the country.
“Accessible and inclusive tourism is a right of all people, regardless of physical, intellectual or sensory condition. On the one hand, it is a right and on the other hand, people with disabilities want to be tourists. That is to say: they want, in some way, to become part of the market”, he expressed when referring to the importance of the work of the organizations he leads in favor of expanding this vacation modality.
Accessible tourism, he continued, is gaining more and more strength within the strategic agendas of destinations worldwide and also in relation to sustainable development. Taking into account quality and more responsible tourism includes accessibility, he said. González Velasco, who has visited the largest of the Antilles on multiple occasions, valued the work carried out by the island in this regard and in this regard considered that "Cuba is working hard and firmly to achieve accessible and inclusive tourism for all, in the beach theme, in the nature theme”.
“Work is being done on accessibility in the city, for example, in Old Havana. In cultural tourism, beach tourism. It is a very important job that in a short time will result in a very considerable arrival of this market segment to this destination”, he added.
As an example of good accessibility, he mentioned the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which holds the Universal Accessibility Certification, while other accommodations are expected to receive this condition, including the Blau Arenal Habana Beach hotel, Rancho San Vicente, and the Soroa motel, these two the latter in Pinar del Rio, which will serve as references.
Cuba right now is one of the destinations, within those of Latin America, that can ensure the chain of accessibility and, in the world, it is at quite high levels, he finally highlighted.
González Velasco is one of the most recognized experts in Spain, Europe and Latin America-Caribbean in Accessible Tourism- Inclusive Tourism, an activity to which he has been linked for more than 32 years and has extensive and recognized experience in specialized consulting. in the tourism and leisure sector in more than 58 countries.