Travelling in the Czech Republic for all – the Accessibility of tourist destinations for the disabled, families and senior citizens conference

In order to extend the travel opportunities for the disabled, families with young children and senior citizens, a specialist conference took place on 30 May in Kutná Hora, organised by Retour Public Beneficiary Corporation together with the Central Bohemia Region.
The conference was held under the auspices of Governor of the Central Bohemia Region, MVDr. Řihák, as well as ministers Mgr. et Mgr. Věra Jourová for the Ministry of Regional Development and Mgr. Michaela Marksová for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The conference was also supported by Charta 77 Foundation – The Barriers Account and CzechTourism, and more than 70 town and village representatives, destination management and disabled and senior citizen representatives took part.
The importance of the event was underscored by the personal participation of Deputy Minister for Regional Development, Ing. Houdek, Chairperson of the National Disability Council, Mgr. Krása, and Central Bohemia Region councillors, Ing. Štefek and Ing. Houdek.
This conference, entitled Accessibility of tourist destinations for the disabled, families and senior citizens, focused on the key issues – securing the technology for the accessibility of tourist destinations and a nationwide information system on accessibility.
Participants were introduced to a number of examples of specific tourist destination accessibility solutions, including for historic buildings. The conference furthermore took place in the beautifully renovated Central Bohemia Region Gallery with excellent wheelchair access.
An example of cross-border co-operation in this field was the Czech-Polish presentation of the Žacléř Open Air mining museum disabled access, and facilities in the Polish town of Kowary.
A great benefit for the disabled information system is the Charta 77 Foundation – The Barriers Account initiative for central data storage of buildings and routes for the disabled – Maps without Borders.
The conference, which dealt with this issue comprehensively for practically the first time, helped to accelerate signage procedures, and inspired further technical solutions for tourist destinations in the Czech Republic.
The key benefit is the expansion of tourist opportunities for disabled citizens, and thus the improvement in quality of their lives.

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