Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 29/03/2016

Spanish hotel takes silver at WTM for accessible accommodation

Originally a livestock farm, the foundation of RuralSuites was based on three fundamental values Quality, Accessability and Respect for the environment.Originally a livestock farm, the foundation of RuralSuites was based on three fundamental values: Quality, Accessability and Respect for the environment.

RuralSuite Hotel Apartamentos (RSHA) has won silver at World Travel Market (WTM) Responsible Travel’s World Responsible Tourism Awards.   They received the award at a ceremony at the WTM in London on November 4, 2015, for their work in providing accessible accommodations for travellers of all physical and mental abilities, seniors, and anyone needing better access.

RSHA – in the Navarre region of Northern Spain – fully understands and embraces the fact that people with disabilities want to travel just as much as other people, whether it is for work or play. They understand that, just like everyone, people with disabilities want an adventure, to stay in beautiful accommodations, discover new places and cultures.   RSHA realised that in order for them to be inclusive, they had to do more than the basic, legal requirements.

Being inclusive is also about being insightful. Finding out not only exactly what people’s needs might be, but also what their travel desires are. So, they have created a very informative website, giving all the details travellers with disabilities might require. They also aim to have their website fully accessible in the next year or so too. They have created stylish apartments that are in keeping with the designer feel to the hotel generally, but which also cater for various needs, with accessible kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

The common areas, from the outdoor Jacuzzi to the restaurant are also designed with accessibility in mind. Activities at the hotel are inclusive, with adapted quad bike trips around their vast estate, horseriding and cycling being just a few of the things to do. Their attention to detail is superb, helped along by their partnership with Spanish accessibility experts Fundation ONCE, PREDIF and RedStable.

WTM, which is held in London each year on World Responsible Tourism Day, is the largest travel and tourism event in the world. The accessible tourism award is sponsored by Enable Holidays, which was established in 2004 as the first UK tour operator to be accredited for its competence in auditing the accessibility and grading the suitability of accommodation abroad for people with mobility impairments.    As with all the WTM award winners in this category, RSHA realise that people with special needs would like their needs to be catered for, but they do not want to be treated as ‘special’. They just want to be treated as guests.

Source: Access Tourism NZ

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