People with disabilities live with the problem of accessibility, the lack of which causes issues in many areas of their lives. The tourism sector is one of these areas.

Studies show that there are two main barriers to the problem.

Lack of legislation around accessible facilities required (e.g.only one accessible rooms required in a hotel with 100 rooms).

“Learned helplessness”, a state where people come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try.

“Your Rights as Well: Accessible Tourism”

Fethiye Tourism, Promotion, Education, Culture and Environment Foundation (FETAV) hosted a regional meeting within a new project last week. The project, “Your Rights as Well: Accessible Tourism” is supported by Erasmus +.

The aim of the project is for selected groups to work with partners from Istanbul, Samsun, Antalya and Şanlıurfa, organize local and national meetings to brainstorm the issues and create solutions to accessibility problems within tourism.

The project groups will be made up of 50 percent young people with disabilities and 50 percent decision-makers.

The project group hosted by FETAV, made up of 10 young people with disabilities and 20 without disabilities, spent three days in a regional meeting at Jiva beach resort and produced a policy document for Fethiye.

"Your Rights as Well: Accessible Tourism"

The mixed project groups will nurture understanding of the difficulties and barriers experienced by those with disabilities.

The second regional meeting will be held in Istanbul and hosted by project partner, Social Rights and Research Association.

On completion of the meetings, the project team will create a national proposal on accessible tourism that will be shared with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The proposal will encourage the Ministry to create new legislation with regards to accessible tourism and will introduce successful “accessible tourism” examples from Europe.

The final stage the project will be an Accessible Tourism summit held in Antalya in October where the young people who have taken part in the project will be brought together with the decision makers.