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Newscat: New Skills for Customized Accessible Tourism


What is Newscat?


NEWSCAT is a project funded by Erasmus + under Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices. It gathers organizations with different and complementary expertise (research bodies, service providers organizations, advocacy and umbrella organizations...) in order to increase the competences of professionals of the tourist sector to cope with the diversified touristic demand of persons with disabilities. The project will provide tools and methodologies to improve the skills and competences of tourist guides and other professionnals of the tourist sector to deal with new demands and requirements of clients, specifically those derived from the growing share of potential clients with special needs (as people with disabilities or seniors)  which demands a customised service to cover their individual needs.




Accessible Tourism can have a major impact on touristic destinations in terms of income, economic activity and employment in the sector by means of an increase of the market pool (due to the increasing number of potential clients with special needs as seniors), the improvement of the territory image and the possibility to scape from market seasonability. Nevertheless, this impact is often limited by the lack of real customized high quality proximity services for these clients with special needs. In fact, following the principles of independent living, full inclusion and full participation (individuality, self-determination, respect, informed choice, empowerment, flexibility) many of those clients may not be part of groups where needs are considered in a standarized way. There is a growing demand for proximity high quality customised services, adapted to the specific needs of clients. As a consequence, there is a growing demand too for professionals with a sound knowledge on local resources who are able to particpate with clients, applying the co-production principles, in the design of the most convenient solution for their individual needs. 




European Union's Erasmus+ programme



1 September 2016 - 30 July 2019




Kick-off meeting


The Kick-off meeting of Newscat project took place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, hosted by the Agency for Tourism of the Balearic Islands on the 13th and 14th of October.
In the meeting the partners established a joint work plan, ensuring a shared vision of the project and a thorough consensus and understanding of project management tools, agreement on the plan and requirements to be used during the project. Partner exchange ideas and practices of the different countries regarding accessible tourism and especially the role of the tourist guide dealing with diverse clients needs.

Second project meeting


EASPD attended the second transnational Newscat meeting held in Varna (Bulgaria) on 8-9 June 2017. The partnership discussed a proposal on the development of guidelines of assistance methodologies for Customised Accessible Tourism, as well as planning the design and structure of Professional Profile and Competence Model. The partners talked also about an initial proposal on the Training course, with distribution of responsibilities for the design of Units of Competences among partners.


Third project meeting

Newscat partnership gathered in Breda (The Netherlands) last 1-2 March 2018, hosted by the project partners BUAS - Breda University of Applied Science. Partners presented and approved the Professional Profile and the Competences Model, and a design of the training session was discussed, with the related content of each training modules.


Fourth project meeting

Newscat partnership met in Riga (Latvia) last 13-14 September 2018, hosted by the project partners Latvian Movemenet for Independent Living. Project partners shared ideas and agreed on the content of the Newscat trainig course modules and planned the upcoming Multiplier Events at national level.


Fifth project meeting

Newscat partners gathered in Bergamo (Italy) on 14-15 March 2019, hosted by Consorzio Mestieri Lombardia. All partners agreed on the final improvements needed for the training content before uploading them on the platform. Partners evaluated past Multiplier events, proposed a plan for the sustainability of the project, and reviewed the dissemination indicators.


Sixth project meeting

Newscat partners gathered for the final project meeting in Brussels (Belgium) on 27 June, hosted by EASPD. A revision of the intellectual outputs and multiplier events was done. Partners agreed on the final steps for dissemination, evaluation and project sustainability, and preparation of the final Multiplier.


Documents & Outputs


Project leaflet - EN - ES - IT - LV - BG
'How to guide' on Customised Accessible Tourism
Guidelines for the Implementation of a Customised Accessible Tourism Programme
Competencies Reports
Promising Practices
CAT Online Training Course
References to develop further training material on accessible tourism and customised accessible tourism
Awareness Raising Toolkit

Multiplier Events



Who are the partners?


Project coordinator:

Fundacion Emplea - Spain


Fundación Emplea is a young organization, created in 2008 by the Spanish Association of Supported Employment (AESE – which takes part of its board of directors together with the National Association of Down Syndrome (Down España), the Confederation for Mental Health (Salud Mental España) and the Federation of Deafs (FIAPAS). Fundación Emplea staff has a broad experience developing European training programmes and managing organizations of European range, being active member of the European Association of Service Providers for disability (EASPD).


Project partners: 

Agencia de Turismo de las Islas Baleares - Spain


The Agency for Tourism of the Balearic Islands is a public organization that belongs to the regional Ministry of Innovation, Research and Tourism and is responsible for promoting abroad the Balearic Islands: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Balearic Islands are the first European holiday destination of Europe receiving almost 14 million tourists a year. The Agency has around 62 workers, the majority of them technicians with university profiles. Annual budget is higher than 10.000.000. It is the first public agency in Spain that has been certified with an ISO9001 since October 2014.

Association "Latvian Movement for independent living" - Latvia 


Latvian Movement for independent living (LATMIL) is non-profit and non-governmental organisation uniting 14 organisations and 67 individuals - persons with all kind of disabilities, family members, social work professionals, service providers and representatives of civil society. LATMIL have network and is implementing activities all over Latvia and is working on local, regional and national level. The vision of LATMIL is to promote the equal opportunities and increase the quality of life of people with disabilities. To reach the aim, LATMIL is active in such areas, as training, advocacy, policy work, empowerment, social service development and provision, research. LATMIL strongly advocate to promote deinstitutionalization in Latvia. One of the important activities in this respect is quality of life assesments in long term care institutions. LATMIL id full memeber of Social care service develpoment council organised and leaded by Welfare Ministry. LATMIL have strong focus on implementation of social model of disability in Latvia and training of social care staff on social model. Staff of organisation have long term experience in development of training programmes and materials, as well in implementation and dissemination of training. LATMIL is full member of EASPD.




ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism is a Belgian non-profit association, founded in 2008, which promotes accessibility to tourism for all citizens. ENAT began as an EU-funded pilot project for “mainstreaming disability policies” in 2006-2007 and is led by an international Board of Directors. It is a multi-stakeholder network of member organisations, comprising public bodies, tourism suppliers and consumer organisations. Members include National and Regional tourist boards, public and private tourism enterprises, tourism professionals, academic and research institutions, NGOs of disabled people, numbering over 100 members from over 30 countries worldwide. ENAT’s mission is to make European tourism destinations, products and services accessible to all visitors and to help promote Accessible Tourism around the world. ENAT is uniquely placed as the only international and pan-European membership body in the accessible tourism field. In the past years it has led and cooperated in EU and nationally funded research, development and training projects addressing all parts of the tourism supply chain.


MESTIERI LOMBARDIA Consorzio di cooperative sociali S.C.S.


Mestieri Lombardia is a Consortium of social cooperatives and accredited body services at work. We take care to accompany unemployed people in the workforce, with special attention to the most disadvantaged sections of the population such as persons with disabilities, marginalization and social exclusion (L.381 / L.8, L.68), young people NEET (Not engaged in Education, Employment and Training), through the activation of extra-curricular placements in companies and / or cooperatives of the territory. We provide career guidance services, attidudinale budget and expertise, personnel selection for companies. Moreover Mestieri Lombardia active educational and training of self-employment for unemployed people, in order to encourage entrepreneurship and transfer entrepreneurial competences.




National Alliance for Social Responsibility /NASO/ is a non-profit organisation, founded and legally registered in 2009. In 2010, the organisation expanded rapidly its structure, thematic and territorial scope of its activities and met the criteria and requirements for a national representative organisation working for persons with disabilities. In March 2011, with the decision of the Council of Ministers the organisation was granted status of a national representative and it was included in the structure of the National Council for Integration of Persons with Disabilities. NASO has more than 700 members, including social service providers, municipalities, NGOs, employers, etc. throughout the country. 

Hogeschool Breda


NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences is a specialized public higher education institution, catering for 7,500 (international) students by offering professional and academic bachelor and master’s degrees, with a strong focus on practice-oriented knowledge development in close cooperation with relevant national and international partners and (industry) stakeholders. The areas of our expertise are: business travel & aviation, consumer behavior, cultural heritage, destination planning and development, economic impact, e-tourism, health tourism, sustainable tourism.




The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 12,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates for effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.



Domenico Manente,

+32 2 282 46 17