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New Partnership for Sustainable Tourism

Portland, Oregon-based Sustainable Travel International (STI) and Athens, Greece-based European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) have announced they will align their work more closely toward a common goal of improving the long-term sustainability and accessibility of tourism offers in destinations around the world, while improving the quality of life for local resident communities.

STI and ENAT are both known in the industry as two leading organizations in the fields of sustainable tourism and accessible tourism. Their collaboration on new initiatives is aiming to improve the quality of tourist destinations and enterprises around the world, the two organizations said in joint release.

STI works to enhance the sustainability of tourism destinations and tourism activities, while ENAT provides know-how and support for businesses and destinations to improve the access of facilities and services for older people and persons with disabilities. Recognizing their highly complementary roles, the two global partners will explore new ways of combining the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability with accessibility and inclusion for all.

The STI-ENAT collaboration is said to initially focus on developing projects for specific destinations as well as general guidance and training materials for managers and owners of tourism businesses.

STI’s CEO Brian Mullis said: “Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to help destinations, organizations, businesses, and travelers develop innovative solutions to protect the environment, adapt to climate change, preserve cultural heritage, and generate economic benefits across the tourism value chain.”

“We understand that social sustainability is integral to destination success,” he adds. “We are committed to ensuring our work has positive outcomes for all tourism stakeholders, particularly women, children, and people with disabilities”

The head of the Athens-based groups said “partnering with ENAT provides a wonderful opportunity to build upon our collective knowledge and networks to ensure that accessibility issues are an integral part of destination sustainability plans, tools, and actions.”

For his part, ENAT managing director Ivor Ambrose said: “We have admired, for a long time, the way STI reaches out to businesses and destinations around the world, giving them concrete tools and methods to act in more sustainable ways. We are very excited to start this new collaboration with STI.”

He added: “We are particularly aware that when it comes to having good access to buildings, the outdoor environment, transport and services, the interests of people with disabilities and elderly – whether they are local citizens or tourists - are very much the same.”

According to Mr. Ambrose, “making tourism accessible for all gives direct business benefits by opening up to a wider market, especially considering the rise in numbers of older travellers, and it can also mean a huge improvement to the life conditions of the locals.”

“We hope that by working with STI we can reach more communities - also outside our base in Europe - and help to bring wider social benefits within the framework of sustainable tourism,” the ENAT director also said.

Source: ETurbo News
Thursday, May 24, 2012