Seniors are an important and fast growing segment in the tourism industry worldwide. In order to offer a “friendly” hospitality experience for seniors, accommodation facilities need to have in place special features in terms of both infrastructure and the way older guests are treated by the staff. Seniors may experience some natural decline in their physical abilities, such as difficulty in walking long distances or negotiating many or steep steps, limitations in sight, hearing, memory and concentration, increased reaction time or reduced orientation capacities. Hotels (and accommodation facilities in general) need to fulfill certain accessibility criteria, so as to be safe and comfortable for seniors.
The ACCESSIBILITY PASS is a global certification scheme that classifies hotels’ accessibility level based on their infrastructure, services and personnel skills. Developed on behalf of PEOPLECERT by a team of Experts in accessibility matters, it now includes a new section for Senior Citizens. 50plus Hellas (Greece) was consulted and contributed valuable input stemming from in-house know-how and expertise, and also experiential views from focus groups of users on the features that make a hotel accessible for seniors. 50plus Hellas’s value-adding insights are reflected in the scheme.
The new Senior Citizen Friendly certification, one part of ACCESSIBILITY PASS, will enable older people to make an informed choice of hotels that can accommodate their particular needs. The scheme is currently in pilot phase, and over the coming few months’ time a list of hotel fulfilling the strict accessibility and senior friendly criteria will be published on-line, with detailed information enabling everyone to decide if a hotel is accessible enough for them.