Destinations for All – Montreal Declaration

A World for Everyone

Declaration from the World Summit Destinations for All Montreal, 2014

Having met in Montreal, Canada at the World Summit Destinations for All, from October 19 to 22, 2014, we, as women and men from various countries and regions around the world, including professionals, representatives of NGOs and various sectors of civil society, universities, international and multilateral agencies, and employees of government institutions, we hereby agree to the following Declaration:

Recognizing the important contributions made to the development and promotion of Tourism and Destinations for All, (including for persons with disabilities, seniors, families and other visitors), and understanding that local citizens are the first to benefit from such efforts, including the following key initiatives:

  • The Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UN, 1975)
  • The Principles of Universal Design, Version 2.0. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University, The Center for Universal Design (1997) The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (UNWTO, 1999);
  • The Takayama Declaration on the Development of Communities-for-All in Asia and the Pacific (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP, 2009);
  • The ISO Standard 21542:2011, Building construction – Accessibility and usability of the built environment providing a global reference for the design of buildings including tourism infrastructure (2011);
  • The Italian Manifesto for the Promotion of Accessible Tourism (2011);
  • The World Report on Disability concluding that more than 1 billion people worldwide live with a disability (World Health Organization 2011)
  • The 5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations addressing Access to All (ICRT, Canada, 2011);
  • The relevant Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 9 – Facilitation to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention, 1944) and the Manual on Access to Air Transport by Persons with Disabilities (International Civil Aviation Organization, 2013);
  • The UNWTO Recommendations on Accessible Tourism, developed with the support of the ONCE Foundation and the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) (UNWTO, 2013);
  • The series of International Congresses on Tourism for All, organised and hosted in Spain by ONCE Foundation in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013;
  • The Catalunya 2020 Vision for Responsible Tourism: the Barcelona Declaration (2013);
  • The series of International Congresses on Accessible Tourism held in South-East Asia in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and December 2014;
  • The report and call for action Access to Culture 2012, by the European Blind Union;
  • The Vision and Action Plan 2011-2015, “Way Forward” of the World Federation of the Deaf;
  • The Proposed Model Regulations for Accessible Taxicabs and For-Hire Vehicles (International Association of Transportation Regulators, 2014);
  • The Proposal of The Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals produced at the 13th session of the UN General Assembly which contains the goal to « Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable » (OWG, August 2014);
  • The international cooperation effort undertaken by UNWTO, ENAT, ISTO, the ONCE Foundation, the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED), Kéroul, and the numerous participants of the World Summit Destinations for All, being committed to pooling their expertise for the benefit of the international community;

We, the participants of the Montreal Summit, hereby declare our intention to maintain our cooperation at the international level and in our respective regions and countries to support and monitor the implementation of the UNWTO Recommendations on Accessible Tourism.
To this end, we recommend and support the following measures:

For tourism, travel and transportation operators and intermediaries:

  1. Seize the business opportunity to widen the market base by developing products and services that provide inclusive experiences for ALL visitors. In this context, ALL visitors means people with disabilities and those with specific access requirements, as well as, seniors with age-related impairments and access requirements and families with small children.
  2. Apply the principles of Universal Design and follow accessibility guidelines in the design of visitor information and marketing (including Websites), transportation, facilities and services.
  3. Build the capacity of managers and staff by providing training opportunities in accessibility and disability awareness.
  4. Observe the voluntary ENAT Code of Good Conduct as a business development and visitor relationship management tool for ensuring high quality accessible tourism services and appropriate care and responsibility towards ALL visitors.
  5. Engage with consumer organisations including disabled persons organizations, senior citizens, youth and families with small children, to identify gaps in tourism service provisions and to improve the quality of tourism products and services.
  6. Participate in local and national business and multi-stakeholder networks to share know-how and improve performance in accessible, inclusive tourism, while making a positive contribution to the sustainability of the host community.

For the local authorities:

  1. Ensure that in any new construction or renovation of a building or public space, or in introducing a public service developments are designed, according to the principles of Universal Design and sustainable development.
  2. Provide pedestrian pathways without obstacle to facilitate crossings of streets and in all public spaces, retail areas and parks.
  3. Ensure supply of public transport suitable for citizens and visitors with disabilities.
  4. Require that taxi and limousine dispatch companies to provide transportation services for persons with disabilities equivalent to those enjoyed by the general public.
  5. Develop a policy including enforcement provisions regarding the parking spaces for persons with reduced mobility.
  6. Adopt a support policy for individuals accompanying persons with disabilities in their recreational and cultural activities, and in transport services.
  7. Support efforts to raise awareness and educate business owners, managers and staff on the advantages of providing accessible facilities and services and encourage the introduction of staff training programmes on catering to ALL visitors with different types of disabilities and access requirements.
  8. Provide resources to the business community for the development and dissemination of knowledge about accessible, inclusive tourism and tools for the design and improvement of tourism products and services for ALL.
  9. Establish destination-level monitoring of visitor satisfaction, including accessibility parameters, as a learning and development tool for the tourism and retail sectors.
  10. Create “Destinations for ALL” enabling all visitors to enjoy travel, whether for business, educational, medical treatment, volunteering or leisure purposes, without hindrance.
  11. Establish a Destination Management function within the structure of the local municipal / regional authority with a budget allocation and a mandate to coordinate and support efforts to develop and promote sustainable, accessible and inclusive tourism in the corresponding territories, working in cooperation with businesses and public sector stakeholders.

For the governments and national authorities:

  1. Make accessible, inclusive tourism policy a priority of national tourist boards.
  2. Encourage educational institutions to incorporate training on the welcome and service to ALL visitors, and on the accessibility of the built environment and facilities.
  3. Promote the training of frontline staff in the travel and tourism sectors on the reception and delivery of services to ALL visitors.
  4. Urge institutions providing public goods or services, including transportation providers, to conduct a review of their accessibility and their service delivery to visitors with disabilities and others with specific access requirements, in order to eliminate barriers and facilitate the provision of services to this clientele.
  5. Adopt fiscal measures to encourage the owners of existing institutions and private transport companies to do the work required to make their facilities and services accessible.
  6. Adopt the ISO Standard 21542 Building construction – Accessibility and usability of the built environment as the minimum requirement for new buildings (where no stricter national standard exists) – and go beyond this standard whenever possible.
  7. Adopt the minimum requirements established by the international community for certification of the accessibility of tourist or cultural institutions and buildings.
  8. Promote guidelines for the universal design of information for tourism services.
  9. Adopt the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG – ideally version 2.0) for all public websites and encourage their use by all tourism operators and intermediaries, so as to ensure access to online information for ALL visitors, including those with physical and sensory disabilities.
  10. Promote the introduction of accessibility requirements in public procurement of goods, services, transport and infrastructure works.
  11. Establish effective monitoring and compliance mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of accessibility requirements by tourism service providers to the local, national and international levels.
  12. Promote employment opportunities and entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities in the tourism sector.

For international stakeholders:

  1. Urge the competent regional and international organizations with standardization mandates to mainstream accessibility standards in all tourism products and services, working with the tourism industry and stakeholders, including the organizations of persons with disabilities and others with specific access requirements.
  2. Encourage the implementation of ISO Standard 21542 in the tourism sector ensuring the minimum accessibility of tourism facilities.
  3. Pursue an international certification mechanism overseen by a competent international body with a clear certification mandate, in consultation with the tourism industry, DPOs and other related bodies, to certify the accessibility of tourism facilities.
  4. Accredit national or local organizations to assess and certify the accessibility of tourism related establishments on the basis of the criteria of the international certification mechanism.
  5. Encourage the International Standards Organization to make the ISO Standard 21542 freely available on the Web to facilitate its wider dissemination and use, given the importance of these standards for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and other with specific access requirements in all aspects of life, including travel and tourism.
  6. Encourage Member States of the Facilitation Panel from the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) to adopt the ICAO recommendations on access for persons with disabilities in air transport, especially with regard to the design of aircraft cabins and the availability of accessible on-board toilets.
  7. Make information on good practices and relevant documents concerning accessible tourism available on the Web.
  8. Invite UNWTO to receive the present recommendations and to transmit them to the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, the independent body in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, for consideration and potential submission to the UNWTO General Assembly.

Lastly, for the participants of the Montreal Summit :

  1. Urge enterprises, local authorities, national bodies and international associations to publish their policies and strategies regarding their provision of services to persons with disabilities and other with specific access requirements to create an environment within which change can happen.
  2. Urge ENAT to coordinate and prepare a proposal for a global section or a World Association for Accessible Tourism, in which all interested parties could join and take part, in order to pursue the objectives outlined in this Declaration.
    The world association should:

    • Seek to foster innovation in tourism services and environments for all with the aim of achieving high quality standards to ensure accessibility, safety and comfort of visitors;
    • Reflect the scope of its members’ interests;
    • Pursue the goal of a positive business and regulatory environment and
    • Act as a global focal point for the promotion of Accessible, Inclusive Tourism and Destinations for All.
  3. Recognize that a lot of progress has been made in accessibility but that more needs to be done, and to be done together, to create a World for everyone.


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