Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference in the Asia-Pacific

AITCAP 2021 is over and it was amazing!

"AITCAP was a massive, very well executed event thanks to the whole organisation team. I am waiting for the rolling credits at the end of the film! You all did an excellent job and it's great to have been a small part of this. Thank you!"

Ivor Ambrose ENAT

Want more?
You can still watch the recordings and continue the discussion on our Facebook Group!

Why join?

Tourism & Travel industry actors

  • Attract a 20% share of the tourism market
  • Boost your recovery post COVID-19 
  • Leverage the fastest growing tourism market
  • Design the best accessible & inclusive experiences 
  • Get great training content for your staff

Travelers & Companions

  • Get valuable tips for your next travels
  • Chat and share your insights with +200 fellow travelers and tourism industry experts 
  • Be part of a new regional dynamic
  • 40+ amazing speakers over 4 days

Click on each day to access the program

MAY 6

Best Practice in Accessible & Inclusive
Tourism

MAY 13

Understanding and Attracting the Accessible Tourism Market

MAY 20

Accessible & Inclusive Destination Marketing

MAY 27

The Future of Accessible & Inclusive
Tourism

Great opportunities to network
Live-chat for the whole live event
Post-conference virtual chat with attendees & speakers on May 27th

Get your tickets - Access to all sessions recordings

Apply for a free registration

Thanks to our amazing crowdfunders that helped us launch AITCAP 2021 and supported us since day 1, we are able to offer a limited number of free tickets to travelers with disabilities and their traveling companions who can't afford an entry at full-price.

If the Humanitix ticketing platform isn’t accessible for you or for any other enquiry, please write us an email at aitcap@getaboutable.com

AITCAP DAY 4 | HIGHLIGHTS ARE HERE

✈️ KEY TAKEAWAY 

Future-proof your business by making sure you are welcoming of people of all abilities. Sure, it is a process, but it is not necessarily a difficult one and it will bring very positive outcomes both for your business and for our world. And the good news is, there are plenty of resources you can use, no need to reinvent everything, and you can focus your energy on innovation to differentiate yourself. Together we can create a “snowball effect” – as our keynote speaker put it – and go from exception to mainstreaming!

“Accessibility and inclusion is a journey. It’s not a compliance measure that you just tick a box and then you’re done. It really is that journey that’s all encompassing, right from the planning, through the execution, through the staffing… it really embodies everything that you do.”

– Yasmine Gray

A FUTURE WITHOUT BARRIERS

After four days of industry insights and captivating talks from tourism leaders, there is no doubt that accessible and inclusive tourism has the potential to recover the sector.  “Millions of people around the world have also realized that the rebound of our economies will be much stronger and much more solid if we create more inclusive societies,”  Igor Stefanovic reminds the AITCAP audience.

“In the US, 1 in 4 individuals have a sensory need. What this means is if you go into any kind of public place, or even engage in the regular community, the noises, the sounds, the lights, the crowds, even certain smells are very overwhelming and physically painful. And it affects basically anyone that is autistic to PTSD to dementia,” explains Julain Maha MD. 

While many businesses aim to be inclusive, the fear of being labeled as discriminatory may prohibit progress.  “I think there’s a willingness to want to do it, but there’s a nervousness about how to go about it. Certainly having the engagement from your teams makes a difference in order to break down any internal barriers and fears that people might have,” Tina Brandt confirms.

Accessible & inclusive tourism is a powerful entry-point across generations and benefits the elderly consumer segment as well. Giovanna Lever explains: “The seniors market is also an important contributor to the Australian economy, and operators need to be aware of accommodating these customers. Seniors coming through now are more financially secure than previously by nature of their generation, and they’re ready and wanting to spend.” 

That’s why we have provided 5 easy steps to help you start the accessible & inclusive conversation: 

STEP 1: Understand the need

Julian Maha MD who is currently on the board of Kulture City, emphasises the importance of understanding the need for accessibility and inclusion especially from a sensory need standpoint. “I think the first step is to understand the need. And that can be from a social good standpoint, it can be from a purely financial standpoint. But the key is to understand the need and then reach out to different resources that are available for that, be it KultureCity or someone else locally in your area.” 

STEP 2: Everyone wants to feel pampered when they are on holiday

Avoiding the social stigma of making mistakes may feel like walking on eggshells, but there is a simple solution. Julie Jones, suggests a humanising approach to this problem “I think one of the things that we really need to get across to the tourism industry is that there is no difference in what a person with a disability is looking for when they are looking for a holiday or are looking for a hotel. We’re looking for a bit of a treat or a spoil.”

Dane Cross furthers this point, “When I travel I am with the family and we’re looking to have the same experience as any other families. […] Some place that makes us feel relaxed and special I guess!” 

STEP 3: Embrace a welcoming attitude

Tobias reminds us that simply employing a welcoming and accommodating attitude is all it takes to start embracing accessibility and inclusion: “If they just say: “We welcome people with disability, and we try to make everything possible”. Often, that’s enough, so people know, okay, those they are aware of my special needs, and they will try to support me. They don’t have to rebuild everything and when they have a booking or have a request… often it’s really some little adjustments, and adaptations that are necessary.” 

STEP 4: Apply Codesign 

You don’t have to do this journey alone, In fact, working with people with disabilities is an asset. “It is complex for a hotel or a designer to really understand what people with disabilities actually need. And my message is that this has been a learning process for me and that’s why codesign is so important,” Julie Jones confirms. 

STEP 5: Consider the Triple Bottom Line

“Inclusion is the right thing to do,” Ben Aldridge declares, “There is definitely a moral obligation to it. But it’s the mindset that we need to change. We need to change the mindset around the idea that disability is not profitable.”

If moral obligation is not enough to convince you of the value of accessible and inclusive tourism, then the bottom line might. 

According to a 2018 study by Open Doors Organization, based in Chicago, Illinois. “27 million (american adults with disabilities) travelers took a total of 81 million trips, spending $58.7 billion US dollars on just their own travel.” John Morris reminds us that this results in an “annual valuation of more than $29 billion US dollars in the accessible travel marketplace.”

And this is an emerging market set to soar as it hits it’s growth phase. 

To encompass the past month’s journey of understanding accessible & inclusive tourism Jezza Williams sums it up, “The magic of inclusive tourism. It’s these amazing words, it’s education, its information, its cooperation, adaptation and promotion…what might surprise you is the simplicity of inclusive tourism.” 

AITCAP DAY 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

AITCAP DAY 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

AITCAP DAY 3 | HIGHLIGHTS

Missed it? Want more? 

We thank our incredible Conference partners

They talk about us...

Words from our attendees:

“It’s the awareness you have just given me. As an able person within the tourism sector, you presentation has brought so many un-thought of areas to my attention from accommodation to attractions, to my own tours!“

“I 100% agree and always follow the mantra of the most important thing to pack when you travel is your positive attitude!”

“Compliant (in whatever context that means in your country) should be tick a box. It is a minimum standard. And will be accessible to most. Inclusive however is beyond compliance. True accessibility is a misnomer as its an individual judgement.”

“Wonderful! I have happy tears, brilliant video.”

“I’m glad to know about your company. It’s content that I can share in my country as a good example in hiring disabled people.”

“Another eye-opening session for the tourism industry.”

Join this virtual event live or recorded

Keynotes, panel discussions, workshops… All sessions will be pre-recorded with captions and transcripts to increase accessibility and live Q&A features will allow for discussion with speakers, sponsors & hosts. 

Sessions running across May 2021

AITCAP is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of accessible & inclusive travel and showcase organisations championing change. Get to know this huge, fast-growing and underserved market. 

From APATCE Reimagined to AITCAP

We listened to you and here comes APATCE Re-imagined! It even undertook a name-change to reflect how you helped shape it into a fully virtual and ever-more engaging event: it became the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference in the Asia-Pacific
Thank you to all the APATCE supporters who completed our survey and let us know what you want.
We will update the website with more information as the event takes shape.

The inaugural Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference in the Asia-Pacific (AITCAP) will connect the huge under-served accessible tourism market with the travel & leisure sector to improve understanding that accessible tourism is a huge and growing market.

Now is the time to increase the momentum, and for the Asia-Pacific region to catch up with the US and Europe on accessible tourism.

In 2019, we had a crowd-funding campaign to launch AITCAP first edition. Due to COVID-19 it was delayed. Thankfully, we didn’t lose any of our budget on cancellations and we will be going virtual which means more resources for incredible content!

Have a look at our introductory video for the 2019 crowd-funding campaign:

In 2019, we crowd-funded $20,000 to run the first Asia-Pacific Accessible Tourism Conference and Expo

On the right is a recap of the campaign and we thank again all of our amazing donors.

We had been planning to host #APATCE in late 2020 in Canberra, Australia, but due to Covid-19, the first edition will be delivered as an engaging and information-rich virtual event that will take place in 2021 and embraces the new opportunities available to us by going online.

You can register your interest in the form above.

Why APATCE?

Imagine if you didn’t know where to get ideas for places to go, things to see or things to do. Imagine if you couldn’t find accurate venue information online or by phone. Imagine that you or one of your travelling companions couldn’t use the shower at a hotel, or the toilet at a restaurant.

Unfortunately, these are the sorts of problems faced by people with a disability almost every time they want to go somewhere they don’t already know. People with disability want to get out and about with their families and friends, but often, it’s all just too hard and they end up staying at home to avoid the frustration.

The conference will include both guest speakers and a tradeshow/expo. The conference and expo’s main purposes are to:

  • Create awareness of the size of the accessible tourism market, for travel & leisure businesses, as well as local, federal and regional governments and tourism bodies.
  • Give the accessible travel & leisure sector and accessibility-related infrastructure suppliers a forum to market themselves directly to their target customers.
  • Give individuals with accessibility needs exposure to options for travel & leisure activities.

If successful, we anticipate that the conference would become an annual event, circulating to different host cities around Australia/Asia-Pacific each year.

[various conference/expo scenes]