Benefits of Incorporating Accessibility as a Procurement Criterion When Buying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Airports

Posted on July 10, 2017

Photo of Lourdes Arreola Prado

Lourdes Arreola Prado

Inclusion and ICT accessibility consultant

Traveling is a human right. Everyone has the right to travel and enjoy the marvels of our world. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believes that making tourism easier to the more than 1 billion people with disabilities is not only a matter of rights, but also a financial opportunity. Driving an Accessible Tourism strategy is a door to a key market made up of more than 1 billion people with disabilities around the world, as well as their families, companions, people with reduced mobility, the elderly, etc.

Planes are one of the means of transportation most commonly used for traveling and, when we use them, we spend an important part of the trip at the airport. Moving around the airport can engage many challenges for a disabled person, either resulting from having reduced mobility, a visual impairment, or little or none hearing ability, etc. These challenges imply moving around freely on the halls, seeing the information of a flight on the screens, and hearing the messages through the speakers, among others.

Airports are entry points to different countries, and an essential element for regional development. Hence, accessible ICTs are a key ally to ease the transit of people with disabilities, and to introduce tourists to a space that shows how inclusive and accessible a country is for its citizens and visitors.

To achieve this objective, the people in charge of deciding what products or system to buy for the airport need to see accessibility as a key buying criterion. Driving the availability of accessible ICT through accessibility policies and a suitable procurement process is considered a positive step to remove the barriers preventing people with disabilities from participating equally in the society. Therefore, promoting that airports have a procurement process for accessibility-oriented ICTs will yield great benefits, some of which are:

  • Increase in the influx of tourists and the relative appeal of the region.
  • More satisfied travelers, because we are increasing their independence during the trip, based on the services and features offered.
  • Clear definition of specs and provisions for new acquisitions.
  • Ease in the alignment of new business objectives.
  • Guarantee of permanent accessible features by buying new updates from manufacturers.

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