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140 Tourism Businesses in the Basque Country now have the Accessibility Seal

12/11/2010 | 0 comments

Arteaga Castle photo Photo: Hotel Castle Arteaga. One of the 140 tourism businesses which holds the Basque Country's Accessibility Seal.

On 12 November 2010, The Vice Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, presided over the first seal award event, held in Vitoria.Gasteiz. 

140 tourism businesses in the Basque Country now have the Accessibility seal. This is the result of the Accessibility Programme developed by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism of the Basque Government, which prepares tourism businesses to orientate their services to all people bearing in mind five types of functional diversity: physical, visual, additive, intellectual and organic (people with breathing difficulties or who require specific diets).

32 of these 140 businesses attended the auditorium at the headquarters of the Basque Government, in Vitoria, to receive the seal from the Vice Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, who was accompanied by the Director for Tourism, Isabel Muela.

Among the businesses to receive the award are Tourist Offices, hotels, tourist apartments, interpretation centres.

photo of access seal business ownersPhoto of Tourism Accessibility Seal business owners at the award event.

Tourist Accessibility Programme

The Basque Tourist Accessibility Programme aims to add quality to Basque Country Tourism through an advanced model of accessibility based on a concept of greater comfort for everyone. In this way, the programme supports tourism businesses in the improving their accessibility to attract a growing number of clients.

After creating the programme, a pilot test was carried out in 200 tourism businesses and the initiative was launched for the entire sector. Prior training is provided by Euskalit, and a diagnosis of the state of accessibility is carried out. Businesses participating in the programme have been able to access finance for improvements that were identified.

This initiative is part of a general policy directed at improving quality, as well as the deseasonalization and diversification of tourist activity. This arose from the need to provide people with accessibility needs –both residents and tourists- and their relatives and friends, with a quality tourist service, offering safety and comfort at tourism businesses in the Basque Country.

The data are clear: nowadays the rate of over 65 year olds in Spain is 16.6% and is expected to increase to 20% by the year 2020 and up to 36% for 2050, and the current rate of persons with some kind of disability in Spain is 9%, rising to 15.7% in Europe. In Europe alone, the demand for accessibility applies to 127 million people. We have to add to them those people with temporary accessibility needs due to different causes.

Pilot test

The following step in this initiative is ‘Tourism for everyone’ in the Basque Country, a pilot project is being implemented for five tourist destinations (three capital cities, Zarautz and Rioja Alavesa) and a travel agency, with which specific tourist packages are being defined for persons with disabilities and which are expected to be commercialized from next year.

The businesses which received the accessibility seal at the event are:

  • Hotel Castle of Arteaga
  • Tolosaldea Tourist Office
  • Santurtzi Tourist Office
  • Muxikako Urune Hotel
  • Apartments Irenaz Vitoria
  • Leagi Camp Site in Mendexa
  • Gran Hotel Lakua in Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Nabarnizko Artzube erretegia
  • Sopelana Tourist Office
  • Hotel Arrizul in Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Hotel Arrizul Gros in Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Pensión Mélida in Ermua
  • Oñati Tourist Office
  • San Sebastián Tourist Office.
  • Zarauz Tourist Office
  • Tolosako Korteta nekazalturismoa
  • Lekeitio Tourist Office
  • Ondarroa Tourist Office
  • Elikatuz Interpretation Centre in Ordizia
  • Ordizia Tourist Office
  • Zerain Tourist Office
  • Zeraingo Meategietako Interpretation Centre
  • Ardixarra Interpretation Centre in Segura
  • Segura Tourist Office
  • Idiazabalgo gaztaren Interpretation Centre
  • Hotel Azkoaga Enea in Eskoriatza
  • Hotel Loiu in Loiu
  • Restaurante Guardi in Idiazabal
  • Pensión Easo in Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Water and fishing school Interpretation Centre in Leizarán
  • Ohiarte Nekazalturismoa
  • Ohiarte Sagardotegia

Further information

Euskalit  (Basque, Spanish and English)

Department of Industry, Innovation, Commerce and Tourism (Basque and Spanish)

Download the Press Release in Basque, Spanish or English from the right-hand panel.  


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