Accessibility and inclusion of everyone is the challenge of the tourism sector in the post-Covid Era. Not a “special tourism” but just normal tourism without exemptions. This was the topic of the 24th of January online workshop held by Senior Eco-Nect partners about the creation and animation of ecosystems and the involvement of stakeholders.

The Senior Eco-Nect is an EU Horizon project started in July 2022 through the emerging growth of the silver economy. Yesterday’s meeting was the occasion to get working groups to gain information and to discuss in order to create an ecosystem based on the needs of the stakeholders, which are its main playing actors – private investors, solution providers, users, NGO, and intermediate organizations. 

The project aims, indeed, to work together to get direct input for the preparation of a joint action plan. After a brief introduction, Andy Bleaden, director of ECHA Alliance, clarified the concept of “ecosystem”, namely innovative networking to connect and amplify the environment related, in this case, on the health field and the tourism one. “It is a complex environment for innovators, researchers and investors to match needs with feasible solutions – pointed out Bleaden -. Silver Ecosystem is an opportunity to create business and work, bringing as proof best achieved so far”. 

Then was the time of Simon Benouw, Sponsorship and business developer, who presented the story of Eurasanté’s business park and its internal ecosystem as a hospital, agency and cluster. 

But the Senior Eco Next project comes from an idea developed by ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism, in 2008. The Managing Director Ivor Ambrose clarified that the rising demands of the tourism sector involved different categories of travelers: “In order to build a successful business, today we want to make tourism accessible for all around the world. Accessibility is inclusion in a society of people left behind for years. People have to enjoy tourism, but also the sector has to be sustainable since all the changes of the world and the fact that the population is getting older”. 

Data demonstrates that aging people is an important part of the tourism market, which consists of about 40% of the target. The second part of the Senior Eco-Nect workshop was a Round Table which focused on the opportunities and expectations from the project’s consortium related to the Senior Economy. The 5 speakers – Ivor Ambrose from ENAT, Pablo Mosquera, the Investments Director of UNRISCO, Roman Medved, Project Manager of Lubijiana Regional Development Agency and Angel Rodriguez head of Digital Transformation of ATENDO – discussed new innovation strategies, capital investments and accessible-for-all solutions to put in place for the project. 

The workshop reflected the necessity to put the strengths together in order to build and effective network for an increasing Ecosystem of aging society. Keep yourself up-to-date by visiting the Senior Eco Nect project’s website at the following link: 

    Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.