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Marijo Irastorza Insausti
Paloma Enriquez Ordoñez

Currently, more than million citizens in the European Union are aged between 55 and 80 years, representing about 25% of the total population. This change in demographics is increasing tourism demand which opens new and emerging markets. Recessions tend to hit younger workers harder than older. Indeed, EU youth unemployment is 24%, twice as high as the adult jobless rate. Nowadays, self-employment is often seen as a way out of unemployment. Many young people embark on entrepreneurship, with varying degrees of success. DG Enterprise and Industry (DG-ENTR) in 2012-2013 built a comprehensive picture of Accessible Tourism in the European Union. This research convinced the partners that there was an enormous potential to grow the market in Accessible Tourism, giving much-needed work to young people, providing new business opportunities to new and existing entrepreneurs.

This project will deliver accessibility as a new opportunity for the tourism market, creating a modular course using innovative methods:
– co-creation (Living Lab) and including disabled people in the curriculum design.
– Four modules will cover entrepreneurship, including social enterprise; accessibility awareness and comprehension;
– a standard that could be embedded into any curriculum with EU certification pursued; accessible tourism;
– marketing accessible tourism (in particular to open up the out-of-season market for older persons).

It will also create co-operation between education, business, social enterprises, NGOs and similar to raise awareness of accessibility. A business case for accessible tourism will be created, to ensure businesses recognise the potential of the market available.