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February 27, 2024

Greece to Make Over 280 Beaches Accessible for People With Disabilities

People with disabilities will soon be able to sunbathe on more popular beaches in Greece, as the country has decided to make a total of 287 beaches on all the islands fully accessible for people with mobility problems.

Such a project, which has cost almost €15 million, will include the installation of the SEATRAC system, which is a fixed mechanism that includes a chair with a remote control that can be moved in and out of the sea, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

As CN Traveller reports, so far, the improvements have already been installed at more than 140 beaches.

The founder of SEATRAC, Gerasimos Fessian, who lives by the sea in Greece, has revealed that as a result of the impossible mobility, he always had a problem with entering and exiting the water.

Thus, Fessian, together with the CEO of TOBEA (Thinking Out of the Box Engineering Applications, who developed the SEATRAC system) Ignatios Fotiou, had began to research possible solutions to this problem.

“When I realised the gaps in accessibility issues, I was fascinated. I could help people by fulfilling unmet needs – my personal drive was to create products that could help vulnerable social groups,” Fotiou pointed out in this regard.

In addition, in 2009, the prototype for this system was created for the first time, and it was commercialised later in 2012.

Fotiou also pointed out that after the SEATRAC system was launched, it was immediately used by the elderly, pregnant women and people with multiple sclerosis. At the same time, he said that the SEATRAC team consists of 20 members in total who also share the same vision.

Commenting on this decision, the Greek Minister of Tourism noted that equal access to the sea is an inalienable human right, adding that disabled people and people with limited mobility are given the opportunity to participate in beach activities with family and friends.

Moreover, Greece is not the only country working to make accessible travel more available as Museums across the United States are also installing and offering accessible features such as noise-cancelling earmuffs for visitors with sensory sensitivities and a wheelchair-accessible carousel as well.

Also, some national parks are wheelchair accessible, such as Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The same has the ability to accommodate wheelchairs in more than 92 per cent of its restaurants.

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