Accessible tourism in Greece: What is the current status?
Evangelia Kasimati, Paris Ioakeimidis
Journal Title:Journal of Ekonomi
Accessible tourism is a new emerging segment of tourism in Greece, as well as worldwide, related to the tourist activity of disabled people and elderly age groups. Travelers with disabilities and elderly people have their special needs when engaging in tourism. This paper attempts to present the existing status of the accessible tourism in Greece. More particularly, our research focuses on the travel needs and barriers faced by people with disabilities in order to evaluate the current accessibility level of the Greek tourism industry, as well as the quality of infrastructure, tourist services and products offered to disabled and aged people throughout the Greek tourist chain. For this purpose, questionnaires with experts involved in the Greek tourism industry were undertaken and a quantitative analysis has been used to present our results. Whenever it was possible, our results have been compared with those of other academic studies, conducted for Greece or other similar tourism destinations. Our results show that, first the “accessible tourism” product of Greece is not entirely satisfactory; therefore, demand for accessible tourism in Greece remains low, as the Greek tourist destinations lack the appropriate infrastructure and easy access to public transport; and second the dynamics and size of the accessible tourist market is not fully understood by the Greek tourist industry. Our findings enrich the existing limited literature by providing some valid conclusions for the accessible tourism in Greece, since similar academic research has not been conducted before.