After a journey of between five and ten years, all types of businesses were consolidated in the travel and accessibility chain that is accessible tourism through a strong specialization. Good results have begun to create synergies that are resulting in early fully accessible destinations.
Invisible barriers to personal productivity – Spiritual Earth
The European Union realized that the European Strategy had not produced the desired results. It was decided to support youth, highly specialized education and to finance joint projects where strength and enthusiasm were attached to experience and participation. Finally, although under supervision, young people stricken by overall unemployment in had the opportunity to train thoroughly and obtain the financial resources required to develop those joint projects and innovative initiatives at a very low interest. In , was proved and admitted that young people have no fear of economic losses and they prioritize enthusiasm for success.
They are open to changes and have optimal predisposition to share practical knowledge. As the United Nations Secretary General Elisabeth Harris said in her speech of The social integration of disadvantaged groups is a major issue in as it was in , when the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was approved. In those far-off days all of us thought that such a proclamation would work as an engine pushing our minds towards awareness about disability, as everyone would realize that from birth onwards there is a path full of situations where anyone can become disabled.
But we never think it can affect us. Now because of ageing it seems to be much closer to reality than ever. We encourage all countries, like the EU did over 25 years ago, to support and fund specialized education about disability and the elderly. Researching in technology will also be welcomed. As it was already promoted by the EU, it is absolutely necessary to join wills to get that social awareness, specific training and state-of-the-art technology to work together in an Experience Economy.
In a world that constantly tends to the ageing of its population, we need the vigorous participation of our young people.
They are the future in a world where diversity must be the main goal. This narrative reflects some trends in society, such as: An increasing empathic position toward disabled people, as the progressive ageing of the population presents us with the risk of suffering any kind of disability at some point in life with a very high probability. A clear penchant for specialization in the field of accessible tourism. It looks sympathetically at creating a niche business, free of discriminatory bias.
To value youth as an instrument of change in the attitude toward disability. To trust their strength, enthusiasm and specialized training in accessible tourism. The core of the third scenario draws a fatalistic picture where each stakeholder in the field of tourism for people with disabilities is sailing alone and paddling upstream, because they consider that their interests are incompatible. As a result, they are losing faith in the future success of accessible tourism on account of the certainty of the investment costs to adapt their facilities.
There is a constant fear of economic losses that leads them to maintain a posture of apathy and ignore the economic potential postulated by specialized international organizations. Additionally, among the regulation and the institutions that are responsible for monitoring its compliance there is a deep gap. On the one hand, a permissive stance and, moreover, a glaring lack of interest in supporting the few private initiatives that are presented to them and require a great effort.
Within such an environment, apathy becomes contagious. The scenario we have called Wasted Future tries to convey the risk of a society that remains unmoved because it is afraid of shifting and, therefore, refuses to undertake investments that open up new financial paths.
Accordingly, a contrary mainstream position to overtake discriminatory situations will prevail instead of being openly interested in seeking business opportunities. In such an environment, education is in decline moments where the lack of government resources is leading to reduced access to education and lower quality. This results in the strengthening of old prejudices. At the same time, underfunding makes technology innovation projects set their focus on areas that have traditionally proven cost-effective, preventing the development of other fields which will open new and necessary possibilities.
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A scenario like this one encapsulates the present situation and its impact on the future of accessible tourism as it needs important attitudinal and strategic changes. Poor education, low funds and conservative mindsets are not good counselors to develop an activity that needs so much from these elements.
Its terrorist activities extending from anywhere in the world have created a widespread feeling of fear which, in turn, have led to an excessive individualism. Security requirements to prevent attacks would make the measures even more annoying and slower than nowadays. Eventually, this situation would result in an overall decline in tourism. There would be fewer people traveling and each tourist would spend less money on their stay.
The consequences of this global atmosphere would be a sort of gentrification of tourism. Tourism would be for tourists with high-purchasing power demanding all kinds of security measures, anonymity and exacerbated hedonism. In this context, a tourist segment as such, which could accommodate accessible tourism, would be unthinkable and unattractive. Several terrorist attacks worldwide in the last three years brought panic to travel. People with disabilities were the first group that contributed to the decline in tourism in traditionally major destinations.
A protective environment for persons with disabilities results in a return to the past, losing a lot of the progress achieved in the last three decades in regard to overall disability. It has already been 20 years of involution due to the terror imposed by the IS. A social devaluation of disability in an attempt to overprotect disabled people has occurred. The GFC is already a part of our lives. There is a widespread feeling of pessimism due to the inability to overcome the Great Depression of the third millennium. Everything has stalled. An exaggerated economic protectionism has resulted in autarkic practices in many developed and developing countries.
The lack of confidence in the recovery and the exit from the Great Depression of the third millennium has eliminated any possibility of financing new projects. Ageing has further aggravated the situation as it is seen as a problem rather than an opportunity.
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At the same time, young people with a serious problem of apathy toward the future have lost their traditional imaginative potential. This is a waste of talent and energy that only helps to worsen the chances of economic regeneration.
Stakeholders do not seek synergies but their exclusive interest to the detriment of others. This behavior is strangling the chances of economic recovery. A few days ago, the President of the Global Platform for a New Economy, the Uruguayan Alejandra Portales, gave a speech that was widely reported in the international media. The world was shocked by her deep analysis of the current situation and her reflections on the steps that have led us to where we are today.
Invisible barriers across Europe
In her speech, she highlights issues as follows: Today, on March 20th , I would like to let you know about an invitation to reflect on our current reality. The states of the 21st century, both developed and developing countries have long since fallen into pessimism and distrust because of the GFC that began in But, do you know what actually happened to get here? The ageing phenomenon has contributed to obstruct the desirable economic expansion.
We were advised of this risk, but we have looked the other way, ignoring the consequences. In addition, as everything can be good or bad depending on the approach, we failed to see the economic opportunities provided by this phenomenon. With budget cuts on critical issues such as education, we have wasted the talent of youth, which was already reduced.
The growing pessimism in the future brought the self-fulfilling prophecy of protectionism. The world has been constructed through a misgiving and distrust attitude that led to common apathy to start new businesses. All of us have seen our quality of life diminish.
Tourism as a superior expression of that quality of life has reduced its activity for the first time in its history. A group that was moving in the conquest of their rights and began to travel with encouraging improvements in the accessibility chain have seen how their claims were fading due to the aforementioned context. I am referring to people with disabilities. With this recoil, society abandons, almost from the beginning, its goal of inclusiveness and diversity.
Here, we can see another consequence of a society driven by fear and indifference. This narrative implies some trends, for instance: social apathy has the effect of distrust in the perception of the new economic opportunities;. This scenario shows a hope for development of accessible tourism in the future because of certain evidence: the ageing of the world population. Particularly in western developed countries and considering their relatively high-purchasing power, this group would be expected to be taken into account according to the latest World Population Prospects.
The Revision , published by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division of the United Nations, the population in this area over 60 years in will be million out of a total of 1, million, that is, a We only see a hope, as apathy toward the image projected by this group is not considered attractive for the tourism industry and, consequently, they hardly see a real business opportunity.
It is a struggle between hope and prejudice. This scenario has two driving forces. Elderly people do not have the attractive image desired by the tourism industry, which is more interested in deploying and exploiting the canons of beauty that are commonly exposed and accepted.
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The combination of the two driving forces sometimes points at the hope for development of the accessible tourism industry, also including people with disabilities and all those with special needs. And sometimes it seems rooted in the prejudices, leaving initiatives that could arise breathless. But, could the ageing population become an engine for the economy in general, and for tourism in particular? Is it a problem or an opportunity?
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If it is an unstoppable reality, what will its impact on the economy be? And, tourism will interest or remain indifferent to the phenomenon? The scenario anticipates a necessary adaptation to a new reality. The consolidation of the population ageing phenomenon brings the occasion of a reconfiguration of values in society.
As a result, elderly people are changing the type of holidays and the destinations chosen Alsnih and Hensher, ; Reece, They are beginning to be required to participate as advisors in private and mixed companies dedicated to meeting their expectations in this part of their lives, now fairly valued.