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Basque (north of Spain) travel agency, that has designed special itineraries in the city of Bilbao and surrounding, offers its tourism services for travelers with functional and intellectual disabilities to partners seeking to enhance their existing offering. They also offer their expertise to other agencies who want to develop accesible touristic routes. Both activities to be carried out under a direct service agreement
The company is the result of an initiative led by a group of professionals with extensive experience in both tourism and social sectors. The project emerged from a social commitment as it involved a new concept in the travel industry and the recipients it was aimed at; disabled people. This incoming tourism agent is prepared to work with travelers suffering from physical and sensory (deaf, blind) impairments as well as psiquic disorders (referred to behaviour; a pathology) and intellectual disabilities (people with reduced mental capacities either by birth or by accident).
Therefore, guests, no matter what their conditions are, can receive a comprehensive service to travel and enjoy themselves. The tourism agent sees to accommodation, accesible transportation and leisure activities with the maximum levels of security and comfort.
For the time being, the main destination is the Basque Country (north of Spain) although the company is studying the possibility of opening up to new markets in Europe. The headquarters is located in Bilbao, a fashionable spot for European, American and Asian people nowadays.
The agency was co-founded by a non-profit association for the disabled, the biggest touristic group in the Basque Country and several individual partners from the tourism and accessibility sector. Likewise, it counts with the financial support of public institutions such as the Basque Government and is leaders in outlining the public initiative: Basque Country For All destination.
The agency has drawn several short routes (3 days/2 nights) each one of them aimed at different disabilities. Based on these itineraries and the experience achieved, the agency has developed a methodology of its own and has also published a guide for good practices. They are thus capable of carrying out diagnoses of the touristic resources in a particular place and also organize training or awareness-raising activities aimed at the development of new accessible touristic destinations.
Therefore, not only does the agency offer his specialized touristic services to the end client with a view to increasing their own portfolio with new international travelers but also they want to diversify their activities in European markets in a near future and these contacts would be a good start for that purpose. Likewise, they can provide other similar touristic agents with their consulting services for creating accessible destinations. The company is also open to contact with other European agencies for exchange of good practices
European recognition for a socially innovative project in 2015 by Transition (Transnational network for Social Innovation Incubation)
Participation in European projects under the COSME framework; Tourism 4 All (accessible destinations), Vitis 4 ALL (accessible wine sector destinations)
Experience with all kinds of disabilities
Mapping of the city of Bilbao with three different routes for blind people, a project carried out with the Bilbao City Council
The agency is wishing to contact similar tourism agencies, tour operators, social organizations either experienced or inexperienced in going on trips with the disabled with a double purpose; on the one hand they offer their accesible itineraries in the Basque Country to potential travellers and on the other, they offer their broad experience and specialised services to the agencies themselves for them to develop accesible destinations in their regions/countries of origin. Partners sought should provide potential clients and contact the agency for the desired transfer of knowledge. These activities will be performed under a direct service agreement
More generally, the agency is willing to exchange good practices and is open for participation in H2020 projects
Members of domestic and European networks on accessible travel: Red Estable, Pantou, ENAT (European network on accessible tourism)