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Greece’s National Disability Association Calls for Accessible Tourism

Photo: UNWTO

Photo: UNWTO

Ensuring accessibility in tourism through legal, structural and social reforms will contribute greatly to the expansion and promotion of the country’s tourist product, the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities (ESAmeA) said in a letter with proposals it sent to Deputy Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura this week.

The letter cites the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which foresees that everyone, regardless of disability, should be able to travel to a country, internally and in any area, attraction or event.

In this direction, the Greek disability association is calling on the government to work towards ensuring accessible tourism, which it says will add value to national policies, draw in new travellers, extend the tourist season, increase competitiveness, create new jobs and boost the national economy.

Among ESAmeA proposals are the creation of a working group that would cooperate with the tourism ministry to develop accessible tourism policies, the establishment of a legal framework that would implement the principles of accessible tourism, the introduction of incentives to improve the accessibility of existing tourist infrastructure, the provision of on-the-spot assistance via escorts and professional sign language interpreters, quality certification of accessible tourism infrastructure and the development of low cost targeted accessible tourism packages that would ensure the participation in tourism of people with disabilities or other special needs.

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