As the holiday season gets into full swing, Molly Scott Cato is urging the European Commission to increase support for holidaymakers with disabilities. She has signed a ‘declaration’ urging the Commission to do more to raise awareness in the tourism industry of the needs of disabled travellers and their accessibility requirements.
There are currently around 80 million people with disabilities in the EU and it is estimated that by 2050 there will be 3 times as many people over 65 in Europe than in 2003, and 5 times as many people over 80. Accessibility to the physical environment, as well as to information and means of communication, can represent a major obstacle to disabled tourists at their holiday destination and when they travel around the area they are visiting. Molly Scott Cato said:
“The South West has a greater proportion of older residents than anywhere else in England. We know older people retire to the region and like to visit some of the many attractions here. This means that making tourist facilities more accessible is vital both as a social good but also economically to ensure the tourism industry remains robust and sustainable into the future.”
The declaration has so far received the support of 371 MEPs. This is just a few short of the required majority needed by the end of this month in order for the declaration to be forwarded to the relevant EU Institutions responsible for taking action.
Details on how ‘declarations’ in the European Parliament work: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/written-declarations.html