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The reality of Greece as an "accessible destination".

Updated: May 13

Known for its captivating blend of ancient history, breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and amazing cuisine, Greece is one of the most tourist travel places of millions of travelers all over the world. Offer tourists the opportunity to explore iconic archaeological sites and enjoy the sun on picturesque islands savoring the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine and experiencing warm Greek hospitality. With stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a welcoming atmosphere, Greece continues to captivate visitors from all over the world, and in 2019 it reached its maximum capacity of 31 million tourists. However, the big question is, is it an actual destination for accessible users with special needs?

Over the past years, the country has made efforts towards becoming an increasingly inclusive destination, catering to individuals with diverse accessibility requirements and showcasing an encouraging commitment to inclusivity.

Accessibility in Greece's iconic sites and museums has seen improvements. A prime example is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Acropolis, a pillar of Western civilization situated in Athens. Enhancements, such as a new lift and wheelchair ramps, have been introduced through a cooperative venture between the Greek Government and the Onassis Foundation in December 2020. These additions have made this historic landmark more accessible to visitors with mobility impairments.

Furthermore, improvements are also evident in transportation, for instance, major ferry companies now provide dedicated spaces for passengers with mobility impairments, often supported by crew members who assist with boarding and disembarking. Similarly, air travel has become more inclusive, with Athens International Airport providing specialized assistance for individuals with disabilities or reduced mobility, from arrival to departure, flight transfers, and terminal navigation.

The hospitality sector in Greece is steadily recognizing the importance of inclusivity, with a growing number of hotels offering rooms specially designed for guests with disabilities, complete with roll-in showers, grab bars, and ample maneuverability space.

Greek Government in cooperation with Seatrac is making Greek beaches accessible for everyone and so far this year is planned to install over 200 beaches all over the country. “SEATRAC is a free service that offers unassisted sea access to people with disabilities and mobility issues. It is an innovative, technological assistant that promotes autonomy, quality, and wellness in everyday life. It encourages the integration and inclusion of all members of society. It allows caretakers and families of people with disabilities to enjoy beachgoing without physical hassle”.

It's vital to acknowledge that the level of accessibility can greatly vary across the country. Certain islands and older historical sites may pose challenges due to natural terrain or conservation needs. However, the overall trend towards enhanced accessibility heralds promising developments, positioning Greece as an increasingly inclusive and attractive destination for travelers of all abilities.

For example, even though the Seatrac system is a great initiative executed by the Greek Government, it is well known that accessible traveling requires seamless experiences along the whole value chain, and this starts from the beginning, from the guest’s arrival until the departure of a destination.

Accessible travel is about creating awareness among society and inclusive services along the whole value chain of experiences in the destination. It requires reliable and detailed information on the infrastructure and facilities so that travelers can make informed decisions and avoid surprises while visiting. Selective projects rather than end-to-end solutions and not completely sustainable show, that the pressure of the growing market is being felt. Alone due to the aging society in Europe and the world, which is noticeable in the structure of the travelers. It can be clearly observed at every national and international arrival at any airport in the country. However, a consistent approach does not yet exist. The basis should and must be laid in the training of the next working generation. Understanding different needs in order to serve them is the A-O in barrier-free tourism., says Sabine Switalla, CEO of CareunderSun.

Travel planning, research, and preparation are key to ensuring a smooth experience. Here, accessible travel agencies like us, CareunderSun play an essential role. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, inclusive, and seamless travel experience, prioritizing safety, comfort, and enjoyment while tailoring every aspect of a journey to meet the traveler’s needs. Offering services along the value chain and let travelers comfortably enjoy Greek the destinations. To learn more about how we can customize your Greek holidays visit our website.

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