Annagrazia Laura

Annagrazia Laura

President, European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT): Training modules on accessibility for tourism professionals


Biography

ANNAGRAZIA LAURA has a long experience in promoting the rights of people with disabilities within CO.IN. (Cooperative Integrate Onlus and then Consorzio Sociale COIN), an organisation involved in creating job opportunities for people with disabilities, also through accessible tourism, where she had the responsibility to develop the Group’s Tourism Dept. at national and international level. She is presently responsible for Int.’l relations and European projects and represents CO.IN in several EU funded projects and international organisations.
Since 2009 she is a member of the Commission for the development and promotion of accessible tourism , set up by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, where she participated to the study groups on Training and Accessibility.
Since 2013, she is the President of ENAT European Network for Accessible Tourism.

Abstract

The tourism sector depends on the continual development of its human resources in order to create high quality products and give the best service to visitors. In order to achieve high levels of service for guests with specific access requirements, managers and staff require training, especially in “disability awareness” and customer care. There are also certain skills that can help staff to communicate effectively and serve the needs of this clientele. This presentation gives an overview of a recent Europe-wide research study conducted by ENAT and partners, in which training and skills development programmes were examined, identifying good practices and measures to enhance the capacities of tourism, travel and hospitality professionals. Key training modules are highlighted, from “Understanding the business case” to “Making your business accessible”, as well as strategic recommendations for policymakers, destinations and businesses – including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – that seek to deliver premium services to the accessible tourism market.