Founder of Accessible Tourism Center PARSA – Tamar Makharashvili

AWARDING PARTNER

Having experience of working with children and youth with disabilities for more than 10 years my career started in 2008-2010 –at The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia International Project funded by Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research: Development of inclusive education in 10 public schools in 10 municipalities of Georgia. Inclusive education is a model where students with special needs are taught in classrooms alongside their general education peers. In the process of democratization and economic development of Georgia, all groups of society should be included. Despite the fact, that by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on April 12, 2014, the Georgian government took the obligation to fulfill statements of the convention and also in 2014 the European Parliament has ratified the EU-Georgia Association Agreement a lot of reforms has to be made for provision of equal rights to people with disabilities. In 2010 I have founded NGO Accessible Tourism Center Parsa- ATCP together with experts on Disability rights. With the group of local and international experts we have introduced first time for Georgia Accessible Tourism Concept in 2010. ATCP is affiliated member of “European Network for Accessible Tourism – ENAT” (Membership Number # 906) and in 2014 has become National Contact Point organization for ENAT in Georgia. The mission of the ENAT is to make European tourism destinations, products and services accessible to all travelers and to promote accessible tourism around the world and actively protect rights of persons with disabilities. Together with ATCP local and international accessible tourism experts we have implemented number of successful projects since 2010.

In 2017 I have been working with WORLD BANK, TBILISI CITY HALL- expert consultant on accessible tourism , accessible environment-universal design standards. On March 2017 I have published first time in Georgia new book on Accessible Tourism and Universal design standards in Georgian language. At the present moment tourism is one of the growing economic segments in Georgia and the new direction – Accessible Tourism has became one of the priorities of the Georgian Government. Work towards inclusion must be active, which involves understanding that we all have something to contribute. In 2014, development of accessible tourism resulted in 394 billion incomes and 8.7 million new job places throughout EU countries. (European Network of Accessible Tourism ENAT expert Mr. Chris Veitch (UK) According to the Open Door Organization (ODO) / Harris Interactive® Market Study on Travelers with Disabilities, 11 out of 54 million persons with disabilities in the U.S. travel each year spending $13.6 billion Development of the inclusive society is an ongoing process, which can be achieved through working together- meaning that all groups of society should be included in social, economic and political life, equal rights and opportunities should be provided to everyone and the environment should be inclusive as well.