SOCIAL
PROJECTS

Genoa, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palermo, Rome, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari

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    women trained
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    hours of training delivered
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    new accessible trails mapped 
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    cities covered
2017
100%

SOCIAL
PROJECTS

Genoa, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palermo, Rome, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari

Image module
  • Image

    women trained
  • Image

    hours of training delivered
  • Image

    new accessible trails mapped
  • Image

    cities covered
2017
100%
Costa Crociere Foundation > Social Projects > WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism

WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism New

In partnership with: AISM (Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla)

News!

Costa Cruises and AISM: Tours now also accessible to Guests with disabilities for the first time

A model of excellence in accessible tourism, a springboard to social inclusion for all travellers, WAT is a project of empowerment for unemployed young women with Multiple Sclerosis through which they can become autonomous, and the whole tourism sector can become more accessibile. For everyone.

THE CHALLENGES

Traveling sparks new transformative force in people’s lives, fostering mutual understanding and catalyzing happiness. Sadly, the 15% of the world’s population that lives with some form of disability is often excluded from such enriching travel experiences.

Italy is the fifth most visited destination in the world and is therefore well placed to serve this customer base. After all, tourism is “the business of providing services for people on holiday” so making sure said services are available to all is not just the most economically sensible option in the current economic climate, it is also a social responsibility. 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism and the World Tourism Organization has called for all tourist facilities to be accessible as part of a responsible, sustainable tourist policy.

Architectural and cultural barriers can seem insurmountable to travelers with multiple sclerosis. Their symptoms mean they have to think about mobility and venue accessibility. To assure them friendly, usable destinations, tourism stakeholders need to partner the very people needing their services – people with MS – to understand what to offer and how to adapt facilities, reckoning that not only people with disability will benefit from these facilities, but also elders, parents with stroll or just people with a temporary disability due to an accident.

Accessible tourisms means also working inclusion. The unemployment rate among the 114,000 MS sufferers in Italy is around 60% and among those who do work, 24.5% are forced to reduce their hours or change their type of work. Women, already facing gender discrimination in the workplace, are especially hard hit as the prevalence of MS is greater in women.

OUR GOALS

Together with Costa and AISM, we designed a joint project aimed at making tourism increasingly accessible to people with impaired mobility. For the first time in the world in the cruise industry, disabled guests will be able to participate in group shore excursions, at no extra cost, with accessibility verified by AISM, in accordance with the most advanced international good practices.

OUR PROJECT

The programmes for these excursions have been devised, tested and checked with the contribution of 15 women with multiple sclerosis, trained and selected by AISM thanks to the “WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism” program funded by the Costa Crociere Foundation. These women – some with no permanent job, others who are students, recent graduates or part-time workers, all passionate about travel and tourism – attended a specific 160-hour training course on land and on board Costa ships, benefiting from the experience of AISM and a team of excursion experts from Costa Cruises.

The new tours, called “Adagio Tours”, will be available for booking from January 1, 2019for Mediterranean cruises on the flagship Costa Diadema. At every port of call, at least one group excursion will be offered that is accessible to everyone, including guests with impaired mobility, and this is available at no extra cost. The list of tours currently includes visits to the cities of Genoa, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palermo, Rome, Palma de Mallorca and Cagliari. “Adagio Tours” have been developed considering the needs of all our guests who want to enjoy their chosen destinations at a slower pace, with more time to discover or rediscover them. They are therefore particularly suited to parents with strollers, elderly guests or people with permanent or temporary mobility impairments.

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Daniel