Counting more than 100 inhabited islands and a few more hundreds of deserted islets, Greece and particularly the Greek islands is best known as a summer destination for many people all over the world. Crystal clear turquoise water, refreshing salads, fresh fruits and plenty of sunshine are the main ingredients that contribute to what is called “summer vacations in Greece”.
However, what is the situation with regards to issues on disability and accessibility in Greece with regards to tourism?
Accessible tourism – which is related to the tourist activity of disabled people and elderly age groups, constitutes a high priority for the Greek state and its people. So far, significant progress has been made in many Greek islands, such as Syros, Corfu, Serifos and others. Seatracs, special ramps in beaches as well as elevators for facilitating access to sites of high archaeological significance (e.g., the Parthenon, the medieval settlement in Syros) are some of the infrastructures that have been successfully installed.
This year, Greece took one more step under the recent agreement between Tourism Minister and the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities (ESAmeA).
The ministry and ESAmeA commit to a series of actions towards accessibility. In particular:
- provision of comprehensive accessibility information
- inclusion of relevant curriculum at tourism schools on all levels
- development of education and training programs for people with disabilities in tourism professions and support actions for their employment
- inclusion in the labor market
Greece by taking significant steps is committed to establishing itself as an accessible tourism destination for ALL. There is still a long way to go but the beginning has been made!
- GTP, 2022. Greece Takes More Actions to Ensure Accessible Destinations. Available at: https://news.gtp.gr/2022/03/09/greece-takes-more-actions-to-ensure-accessible-destinations/ [Accessed 15.6.2022].
- GTP, 2020. Syros Looking to Promote its Accessible Tourism Side. Available at: https://news.gtp.gr/2020/08/04/syros-looking-promote-accessible-tourism-side/ [Accessed 15.6.2022].
- Municipality of Syros-Ermoupoli, 2021. Λειτουργία Αναβατορίου στην Άνω Σύρο (Elevator Operation in Ano Syros). Available at: https://www.syros-ermoupolis.gr/anakoinoseis/leitoyrgia-anavatorioy-stin-ano-syro/ [Accessed 15.6.2022].