What makes Alejandro Oñoro a Global Shaker?
Alejandro Oñoro is President of ILUNION Hotels, a chain of hotels present in 12 locations across Spain, including Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Cadiz.
What’s important is that ILUNION is managed by Spanish social group ONCE — meaning at least 40% of its employees have disabilities. The hotel is entirely committed to ensuring universal accessibility for customers and suppliers. Everything from the bed and chair to the thermostat in rooms are accessible for people with reduced sight, hearing or mobility. All information is available in braille, there are chair lifts in the pools, parking is designed with access in mind and the website is entirely accessible to allow for autonomous booking.
All of these changes are designed to address concerns that approximately half of people with reduced mobility and other disabilities give up going on holiday due to a lack of accessibility at some point in their travel.
ILUNION runs accessible tours in the cities in which they’re based, and also hosts activities to make society aware of “the need and importance of accessible tourism for all people.” These recently included a blind role-play in which participants were taught first hand about the challenges visually impaired people face while travelling, such as entering a restaurant, finding amenities or having a glass of wine.
As set out in an article by Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager for the Lonely Planet, ILUNION Hotels “received the 2016 UNWTO Ethics Award for its work in the area of accessible tourism for all and its contribution to change attitudes, break down social barriers and make the accommodation industry more inclusive.”
The 26 ILUNION hotels also hold the Qsostenible label, as proof of their commitment to sustainability. Information on the website explains attempts to make water, gas and electricity use as sustainable as possible.
Alejandro Oñoro, who himself lives with a stutter, has spent his career linked to accessibility. His early career was at Grupo Fundosa, the business division of the ONCE Foundation, as Director General of Fundosa’s affiliated businesses in sectors including IT, construction and social services. The majority of employees at these businesses — now comprising more than 14,000 people — have a disability.
He became Director General of Grupo Fundosa in 2009, before rising up to lead ONCE’s entire business activities. From there, in 2015, he became General Counsel of ONCE and President of ONCE’s newest initiative, ILUNION Hotels.
Oñoro holds a degree in business science from the Universidad San Pablo-CEU, and studies in Business management from the University of Navarra.Tags: Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion, ILUNION, Responsible Travel, Spain
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