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AISM, Accessible EU and ENAT together with San Marino for Accessible Tourism

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AISM, Accessible EU and ENAT together with San Marino for Accessible TourismSan Marino, 15 November 2023

AISM – Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association, in collaboration with Accessible EU and ENAT, supports the event of global resonance: the “International Conference of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO): TOURISM FOR ALL – Advancing accessibility for destinations, companies and people”. The meeting will be held in San Marino on 16 and 17 November and will involve nations, tourist destinations, organizations and businesses, proposing the theme of the right to “tourism for all”.

AISM’s support takes on particular importance in the context of consultancy on the accessibility of conference spaces, accommodation facilities and itineraries and the accessibility of the site linked to the event.

On the occasion of the conference, AISM will present the project “Independent Life Does Not Go on Holiday”, an innovative initiative, created with the partnership of Bil Benefit and Sicily By Car which promotes inclusive tourism through the introduction of rental cars adapted for people with disabilities, in 10 Italian airports starting from 2024. The “not” in the title of the advertising campaign, indicates the possibility of going on holiday without giving up one’s ‘independent life’.

The project will be illustrated by Luca Briziarelli, President of Bil Benefit within the Panel dedicated to the need to make transport and mobility in tourism more accessible, addressing common challenges and proposing solutions.

Gianluca Pedicini, president of the AISM Conference of People with MS and related pathologies, will drive a car specially set up for the Project, accompanying the Secretary of State for Tourism during a short tour on 15 November.

The novelty of the “Indipendent Life Does not Go in Holiday”  project is the further involvement of the Rimini and San Marino Airports and the patronage of the Emilia Romagna Region, which adds to the various patronages already received by the project.

The conference will also be an opportunity to announce the agreement with Kivi Mobility Freedom S.r.l, one of the leading companies in the sector, which has undertaken to provide up to 20 free kits for the adaptation of cars for driving with a special license, a donation which demonstrates the concrete commitment of the parties involved in the project. The support of companies like Kivi Mobility Freedom contributes significantly to promoting accessible tourism, opening new perspectives and making travel an inclusive reality and, more broadly, supporting sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions.

Luca Briziarelli, President of Bil Benefit, one of the partners of the project together with AISM, declares

“Our participation from the initial phase of this project is a concrete commitment towards inclusion in tourism. Bil Benefit is proud to participate in this global event and is proud to help make travel accessible to all people, regardless of their abilities. This initiative demonstrates that collaboration between third sector entities, institutions, benefit companies and profit companies can create innovative solutions for the community. Our hope is that this project inspires further inclusion and sustainability initiatives in the tourism sector.”

“We are thrilled to actively participate in the UNWTO International Conference in San Marino, together with Accessible EU and ENAT.” Declares Francesco Vacca, AISM National President – “Our collaboration represents a significant step in the Multiple Sclerosis Agenda and related pathologies 2025 by AISM. We promote an accessible and inclusive environment to ensure the autonomy of people with disabilities and build sustainable communities through universal accessibility solutions. This initiative is a tangible example of how, by collaborating with private and institutional partners, we can open new opportunities in the tourism sector and improve people’s quality of life.”

The “Independent Life Does Not Goes in Holidays” Project:

The project, promoted by AISM in collaboration with private partners such as BIL Benefit and Sicily by Car, aims to make a rental service available to people with disabilities in possession of a special driving licence for adapted cars.

The Sicily by Car platform has enthusiastically joined the initiative, and by 2025, the project aims to reach up to ten airports in major Italian cities. Among these, Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Turin, Bari, Trapani and Perugia, and from today also the airport of Rimini and San Marino, will be selected based on the needs of passengers and tourist potential.

Accessible tourism on the rise:

Accessible tourism represents a continuously growing sector. In Italy, people with disabilities exceed 3 million, while in Europe there are 87 million, of which over one million have a special driving licence. Living tourism experiences in freedom and autonomy is a fundamental right for every citizen, yet many barriers, which also emerged from the annual MS Barometer, hinder the exercise of this right. The critical issues concern access to transport services, accommodation facilities and cultural heritage. The “Indipendent Life Does Not  Go in Holidays”  project aims to take concrete action to overcome these barriers, creating a car rental model accessible to people with special driving licences, with the patronage of ENIT and the support of networks of associations such as FISH.