Belgrade, Dec.1, 2009 (Serbia Today) -Tourism for all is a new dimension in international tourism, which entails programs intended for people with special needs. NGO Danube, an association of disabled individuals, organized, with the support of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Planning, a two-day tourism conference in Belgrade.
Travels of people with special needs constitute one third of world tourist movements and bring an annual income of up to EUR 80 billion, according to Radio Serbia.
After numerous years of crisis, Serbia is again in preparing its tourism industry, and it is now addressing the new dimension in tourism.
State Secretary for Tourism Goran Petkovic commented that the Danube Association has an important role as the organizer of this, second international conference, because it represents Serbia at similar gatherings worldwide.
Several concrete activities are under way, one of the most important being legislative ones. Through new regulations on minimal technical conditions, stemming from the new law on tourism, norms binding hotel and restaurant establishments to enable access to persons with special needs have been built in. The regulations define that only a facility fulfilling these standards can be advertised.
The assistance of the Danube Association was critical in work on these regulations, as members themselves participated in the drafting of the legislation.
Danube Association and the Danube Tourist Club are the only advocates for the disabled in the tourism industry in Serbia.
For five years, the Association has been working on the elimination of problems and obstacles faced by people with special needs when they want to travel. Sometimes information is required on facility accessibility, means of transport or possible difficulties during a journey and tourist agencies have provided scant information in the past in the region.
Participants in the Belgrade conference state that much has been done since last year, especially in the legislative field, as the enactment of implementation of laws has provided Serbia access to the European market