Gold Medal for Merit at Work

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Gold Medal for Merit at Work

Accessible Madrid has been honoured with the Gold Medal for Merit at Work, awarded by the EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF ECONOMY AND COMPETITIVENESS (AEDEEC). Accessible Madrid's founding members: Arturo Garrido, Oscar Olivier and Alfonso Nadal were very honoured and proud to receive such distinction.

The Gold Medal for Merit at Work award ceremony was held on March 9, at the Eurostars Suites Mirasierra Hotel in Madrid where Accessible Madrid was recognized for bringing innovation, visibility, development and good practices to the Accessible Travel Industry, which are helping to making travel and tourism accessible for all. Accessible Madrid's mission is to make tourism destinations, products and services accessible to all travellers and to promote accessible tourism around the world.

The Gold Medal for Merit at Work event was presented by the prestigious journalist Emilio Javier García Plaza, has counted with the appointment of Doctor Pascual Fernández Martínez as Honorary Director. The Gold Medals and Ties of Merit at Work have been delivered by the president of the Association, José Luis Barceló, editor and director of the newspaper El Mundo Financiero; and the vice president, the lawyer Juan Ignacio Navas Marqués, founding partner of Navas & Cusí Abogados.

Accessible Madrid was founded in 2013 and now is a leading company in Spain offering accessible services and products for travelers with disability or limited mobility. Accessible Madrid operates accessible tours across Spain. Custom accessible holidays are designed for groups, as well as families and individual travelers. Their mission is to help travellers to find accommodation 100% accessible in the city both in hotels and in adapted holiday rental apartments. Accessible Madrid provides the necessary resources and services for slow walkers and wheelchair travelers, so they can enjoy their holidays in a barrier-free environment.

Accessible Madrid is a Member of ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism). Accessible Madrid has been also awarded in the past as "Best Spanish Accessible Travel Tour Operator 2016" by Luxury Travel Guide and "Best Tour Operator of Accessible Travel in Madrid 2017" by Travel & Hospitality Awards.

Spain, like other parts of the world - lacks many appropriate accessibility provisions for the general population. This is a problem which affects many people both in their daily lives and also as tourists.

Physical access and access to information are often less than adequate in transport, at tourist destinations, in accommodation and all kinds of venues and attractions. This lack of accessibility has a direct and negative effect on tourist numbers (both inbound to Spain and within Spain) and on the quality of tourism destinations and products. Many tourists and would-be travellers experience access problems, especially those with physical or sensory disabilities, people who are older and perhaps a little more frail, as well as pregnant women, families with small children and people with a chronic health condition or a temporary disability. All of these people need “accessible tourism”.

Some of the access difficulties we find today are due to many years of ignorance about access requirements when planning, designing and managing buildings, transport systems and infrastructure. For a long time, customers’ needs were not known or understood, and even today – despite improvements - these needs are not being taken sufficiently into account in the tourism sector.

Accessible Madrid, since its foundation back in 2013, has been working to improve and develope accessibility in the tourism sector by consolidating existing knowledge.

With this Gold Medal for Merit at Work, Accessible Madrid aims to continue make Spain as a whole an accessible destination, where all travellers can move freely, enjoy new experiences and be sure of getting the service they need and expect. We believe that accessible tourism must be made a priority - for the good of the tourists and for the long-term sustainability of the tourist industry.