2021 Travel News ArchiveTravel

Committing to accessible tourism; IberoAmerican summit scheduled for 2022

Santo Domingo will host the Ibero-American Summit on Accessible Tourism 2022. The date is yet to be announced.

Rafael Blanco Tejera, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), said the event organizers accepted the city candidacy presented by the Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster with the institutional support of Asonahores and the Ministry of Tourism. Blanco Tejera said the hosting of the event strengthens Santo Domingo as a tourist destination, oriented towards a modern and friendly urban transformation.

The president of Asonahores explains the event is an opportunity to show off the city and to enhance the country’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion.

Representing local entities, Yudit García, president of the Santo Domingo Hotel Association, explained that hosting this event implies an important collaborative effort. The Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster with the institutional support of Asonahores and with the collaboration and leadership of the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur), the city government of Santo Domingo and the National Council on Disability (Conadis) are behind the event celebration in Santo Domingo.

García explained that one of the main objectives is to achieve a more sustainable tourism that promotes a social change towards inclusion, going beyond the hotel and tourist facilities. She said the event is an opportunity to work to improve accessibility, promote an inclusive tourism culture through which all people can participate on equal terms in tourism services and products, including those with disabilities and reduced mobility.

According to Diego González Velasco, president of the Ibero-American Network of Accessible Tourism (Rituracces), the global organizer of the event, says Santo Domingo won the hosting of the event because of the commitment of the country, the city and its stakeholders, and the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism in the design, supervision, evaluation and implementation of accessible tourism products.

The United Nations estimates accessible tourism includes over one billion persons with disabilities and more than two billion people, such as spouses, children and caregivers of persons with disabilities. The UN estimates a third of the world’s population is directly affected by disability. While this signifies a huge potential market for travel and tourism, it is a market segment that still remains vastly under-served due to inaccessible travel and tourism facilities and services, as well as discriminatory policies and practices.

The efforts to improve accessibility in the Dominican Republic are also a plus for the local population. Thousands in the country suffer from disabilities, many times caused by motorcycle accidents. Likewise, the Dominican Republic as a leading tourism destination welcomes hundreds of thousands of seniors for whom the accessibility improvements will be a plus.

Read more in Spanish:
Ministry of Tourism

14 December 2021