WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism – Adagio Tours

Shared struggles; a push to overcoming obstacles
Starting from the experience of young women with Multiple Sclerosis, we created the world’s first project in the cruise industry to make holidays increasingly more accessible to everyone.

The results

  • Women trained
  • Training hours provided
  • Accessible itineraries studied
  • Adagio Tours implemented
Genoa, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona
2017
2021
Genoa, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona

In collaboration with: AISM (Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla)

THE CHALLENGE: the right to inclusivity involves accessible tourism

THE CHALLENGE: the right to inclusivity involves accessible tourism
Travel changes us. It makes us better people. For many, however, it is an experience that comes up against the limitations of disability. We are talking about significant numbers, about 15% of the world’s population.
Breaking down barriers to provide accessible hospitality services to everyone, is a serious commitment and a challenge that cannot fail to see the cruise industry at the forefront, one of the most important players in a sector that moves millions of travellers a year.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common and most serious diseases of the central nervous system; it predominantly affects women at a ratio of 2 women for 1 man.
The wealth of experience in a person with MS can be a valuable asset in rethinking and adapting a system and a travel template to become accessible and benefit the physically impaired.
Furthermore, translating this experience into a value and placing it at the centre of an inclusive and accessible travel plan, provides work opportunities for people whose unemployment rate reaches 60%, with the majority of those being women.

THE GOAL: to create job opportunities for women with MS by designing accessible tourist routes

By cross-referencing the experiences of AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association) and Costa Crociere, we were inspired to create the first project in the world that makes many group tours accessible to everyone at no extra cost to wheelchair users.
A shared journey that aims to become a model for the entire tourist sector.
The WAT! project offers 15 women with MS the opportunity to attend a training programme focussed on designing and testing a set of excursions accessible to all, and to develop a specialised skill-set for future employment in the sustainable tourist industry.

OUR PROJECT: to engage women with MS in a training experience delivering innovation to everyone with a disability

WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism involved 15 young women with MS — unemployed, students, recent graduates or part-time employees — transforming their passion for travel and tourism into an opportunity to study, test and jointly define a tailored set of excursions that are also accessible to physically disabled tourists.
Their contribution has made it possible to create the world’s first cruise project to make holidays more and more inclusive for everyone.
It is a significant innovation to the tourist services on offer, the value of which resides in the ability to develop a model of tourism that can be shared with everyone without additional costs or charges, without separate, alternative routes that isolate the impaired from the rest of the group.
The 15 women selected by AISM undertook 160 hours of training on land and aboard the Costa ships, where besides the experience and training provided by AISM, they were joined by a team of experts on Costa Crociere’s excursions.
This collaboration gave rise to Adagio Tours, a set of fully accessible group excursions certified by AISM and developed according to the most advanced international best practices standards.
An ideal solution for everyone who loves discovering the beauty of a destination at their own leisure, without haste, taking it slow while at the same time responding to the needs of everyone with permanent and temporary physical impairments, or even the needs of the elderly or parents with prams, so that they may all share a special experience together.
The Adagio Tours, available on the Mediterranean cruises, include the destinations of Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, Palermo, Rome, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa and Cagliari.
It is a solid stepping-stone for an increasingly inclusive idea of tourism, which aims to be a model in other sectors of the tourist industry as well; this option already available today, considers the hundreds of thousands of disabled people to ensure they enjoy the pleasure of a truly boundless journey.

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