Awards of Excellence for trailblazers in accessible travel
This year, the Accessible Travel Foundation has decided to initiate the Awards of Excellence in Accessible Travel by recognizing the trailblazers who have made excellent contributions to making travel accessible regardless of physical or mental abilities.
The Awards of Excellence have been given to companies that have paved the way for a more accessible world in four categories: Accessible Travel Agency, Accessible Travel Product, Accessible Travel App and Accessible Accommodation.
The detailed blog post is published at the ATO website.
The Award of Excellence in the fifth category – “Accessible Favorite 2019” - is to be given through a public vote. The results will be announced in October 2019.
The 2019 Awards have been acknowledged by members of the ATO team, who have extensive knowledge and experience in their field, - Dr. Kristof Tomej, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Tourism and Service Management, Modul University Vienna, Austria, Elizabeth Standaert, ATO Social Media Manager, and Niels Kentie, who holds an MBA in Health Care and actively supports ATO in an advisory role by sharing his experience of working a few decades in health care until his life changed after a stroke. Together with ATO Founder Marlies van Sint Annaland, they have concluded to honor the following trailblazers and their enterprises:
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL AGENCY: ROMANIA – Cristina Caluianu and Sano Touring (Romania)
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL APP: UNITED KINGDOM – Gavin Neate and the Welcome App (United Kingdom)
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL PRODUCT: UNITED STATES – Kelly Twichel and Beach Trax (United States)
ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION: AUSTRALIA – Christine Smith and Great Ocean Stays (Australia)
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL AGENCY
ROMANIA – Cristina Caluianu, founder of Sano Touring, has ambitions for all of Eastern Europe. As a senior EU project consultant with 20+ years of experience in travel industry in Romania, she is always going the extra mile for all her customers.
She can easily switch between having a one on one conversation sharing tourist info with one of her clients visiting Romania and consulting management on the highest level, sharing her knowledge as a consultant in European projects related to accessible tourism, cultural heritage, always seeing the greater picture of contributing to society at large. Her efforts and creative entrepreneurship to put Romania on the map as one the fastest growing upcoming travel destinations, to all travelers, with or without disabilities, truly deserve recognition.
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL APP
UNITED KINGDOM – Gavin Neate, Founder of Neatebox, is a great entrepreneur, using available 21st century techniques and possibilities. His 'Welcome' App is a truly a wonderful instrument to improve customers services in public venues, hotels, resorts, shopping malls, recreation centers way better. Welcome uses the phones location services to train staff and raise awareness of a visitors needs immediately before they arrive at their location. Gavin has received and won many awards for Welcome. He is paving the way for a permanent change in customer services.
ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL PRODUCT
UNITED STATES – Kelly Twichel from San Diego is a beach person, as everyone in California is. During her studies in occupational therapy, she got involved in a product challenge. The result is the absolutely innovative Beach Trax: a lightweight, foldable pathway to be used on the beach, or any outdoor terrain, empowering people of all mobility types with on-demand access.
In the first year alone, her Beach Trax found their way around the world. From Costa Rica to Japan to Europe and of course in the United States. Kelly's company Access Trax has been nominated several times and we know this trailblazer will be doing a lot of traveling!
AUSTRALIA – Christine Smith, owner of Great Ocean Stays, Victoria, multi award winning disability advocate, mom of 4 and above all excellent travel entrepreneur is setting the tone for fully accessible properties. The 4 houses available through her company Great Ocean Stays are fully equipped with accessible kitchen, bathroom and bedroom interiors. This international award is absolutely a perfect add to the ones she earned before.
Accessible Travel Foundation
1075RM, the Netherlands
M van Sint Annaland
The Accessible Travel Foundation is a non profit organization in alliance with Accessible Travel Online, an online global travel resource for travelers with a disability.
The Awards are the first given in 2019 to companies and organisations who have accomplished outstanding results and concepts contributing to the accessible travel world at large.
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