Travel and accessibility
Tourism and travel both in Greece and abroad is often a pleasure and interest for many older people no longer restricted by work obligations. In Greece it is also a major revenue earner and older people constitute an ever expanding section of the tourist market. Yet the lack of good standards and the lack of harmonization in terms of accessibility to tourist and transport facilities has a huge impact on the take up rate of these facilities by older people.
There have been definite improvements in terms of accessibility in Greece e.g. public transport, roads, tourist facilities and buildings, stimulated by the Olympics of 2004 and the hard work of those concerned with the disabled, BUT there remain enormous problems and a lack of sensitivity to the needs of all the less mobile population and particularly older people.
Such problems can act to exclude older people not only from tourism but even from active participation in their communities. Pavements remain appalling in most urban areas of Greece – uneven, potholed and with trees inappropriately planted – while even where they are supposedly accessible to the hard- of- sight, the less mobile or wheelchair users, there is often the problem of badly parked cars and motorcycles blocking their use. There need to be smooth surfaced and unblocked paths which will help wheel chair users, parents with prams and older people to walk safely.
All public transport and tourist need to be encouraged to meet accessibility criteria based on the concept of Design for All. .
Greek Travel Policies
European Travel Policies
For actions against the inappropriate use of pavements we support another NGO called www.pezh.gr who argue for a change in the mentality of drivers, politicians and police .
Α bunch of friends who believed that we waited long enough for the state, the local authorities and the police to wake up, they took the action on their hands. More information: http://www.streetpanthers.gr/