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Tourism for All – Official launching event of the ACCESSIBILITY PASS hotels certification.
With the presence of Olga Kefalogianni, Tourism Minister of Greece, the official launching event of ACCESSIBILITY PASS took place at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, Athens, on 18 June 2014. Representatives of bodies of people with disabilities, senior citizens and the hotel industry attended the event.
ACCESSIBILITY PASS is a universal certification scheme that classifies hotels’ accessibility level, based on their infrastructure, services and personnel skills.
ACCESSIBILITY PASS aims to offer a compilation of useful and reliable information relating to certified hotels’ accessibility, which makes it easy for people with accessibility needs, i.e. people with motor, visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities, as well as senior citizens to make an informed choice of hotels that best suits their needs. Certified hotels’ information is available online at www.accessibilitypass.org/hotels.
Olga Kefalogianni underlined the fact that the accessibility of infrastructure has a special position in the Greek plan for tourism, and stressed that “it is our duty to ensure the conditions and be concerned with the unobstructed and dignified access of our fellow citizens to holidays and entertainment”, an issue that creates responsibilities for the tourism industry on one hand, but also presents an opportunity to prolong the tourist season. The Tourism Minister congratulated the ACCESSIBILITY PASS initiative for showing respect towards the community of people with disabilities, as everyone should do; very importantly, the Tourism Ministry is examining every possible financial intervention through European funds, to help upgrade the infrastructure of Greek hotels that decide to get accessibility certification.
ACCESSIBILITY PASS has been developed by PEOPLECERT, a well-known certification body with global presence, in collaboration with the Center for Research and Technology (CERTH). It encompasses six internationally accepted national standards, as well as best practices stemming from European Research projects. It has been evaluated and endorsed by 18 accessibility-related bodies in 9 European countries, and is continuously reviewed by an Executive Council of Experts in accessibility for People with Disabilities and Senior Citizens from 4 countries.