Why undertake? Where did the idea for Volem Valencia come from?
One day, I got up and said I want to start a company ? No, everything takes a process …
It was the year 2011 when I had finished my studies in Social Education … At that moment, a fairly common question arises when you finish university. And now what? The illusion of most is to find work of their own right away. Mine was too, why deny it. While looking for work, I chose to continue studying (I am one of those people who cannot be quiet).
Tourism has always been one of my great passions . I love traveling, exploring and knowing new places and learning about each place, each culture, its people … So I decided to do the Tour Guide, Information and Assistance cycle and then the Travel Agency and Event Management .
Tourism and Social Education
Some people told me, “If tourism has nothing to do with Social Education, wouldn’t it have been better if you took something related?” So, to that question, the answer was the following “Practically everything is related . Many times it is the approach that is given to things to find that connection. All people regardless of their abilities can travel. Tourism must be accessible for all people ”. That was the first moment in which I began to reflect on the concept of accessible tourism and if really everyone can travel. By proxy, they can, but is tourism really accessible?
In my opinion we should not speak directly about this concept, but that accessibility should be intrinsic . But is it? Many times we find that it does not. I have people in my environment with functional diversity or I have even seen myself in many similar situations in which we have been able to check inaccessible hotels or guided tours that took you to places where you could not enter later. </ p>
Accessibility comes naturally
That is why I thought, Why not do something to contribute my grain of sand to accessibility ? As a result of these reflections, experiences and experiences, during these years I have been shaping Volem Valencia. I have been recycling myself, working as a social educator in different fields, I got my guide qualification and I have worked as an official guide in various places in Spain in travel agencies, Spanish schools in language stays, etc. .
As time passed and it became clearer to me that I wanted to start it, I have been learning from great professionals such as Predif and Cocemfe , among others. Attending conferences, congresses and inclusive tourism training courses, entrepreneurship programs such as the Valencia City Council Business Creation Itinerary or Invattur Emprende .
No one should feel left out
Today, Volem Valencia is already a reality . The objective is that no one feels left out, but that all people, whether for example a person with reduced mobility, a person with low vision or hearing impairment, travel with the same equal opportunities , taking into account the needs of each one. Guided tours and experiences where accessibility is intrinsic. In which all people can travel alone or with a group without worrying about anything . The important thing is that you enjoy, we take care of the rest.
Undertaking is not easy, but it is a beautiful process where you enjoy the journey . With effort and dedication, things turn out and it is a satisfaction to be able to carry out an illusion, a dream. That dream for me has been Volem Valencia. Bringing tourism closer to all people , our city, our Valencian Community is a satisfaction and I transmit that passion and enthusiasm in each guided tour that I take .
Ana Mª Soler Machirant, CEO Volem Valencia