Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Greece is Transforming Beaches to be Wheelchair-Accessible

8 months ago

A new initiative in Greece is enabling wheelchair users access to hundreds of beaches thanks to an innovative remote controlled accessibility system, as per The Greek Reporter.

Credit: Seatrac

Designed by Greek company Tobea, Seatrec is a complimentary service aimed at providing sea access to individuals with disabilities and limited mobility, allowing them to ‘swim in the sea independently, safely, and inclusively.’

You can take a look at the system in action below:

With 147 beaches already transformed and a total of 287 planned, the initiative will also see essential accessibility improvements made at beach locations including changing facilities, parking areas, ramps, and refreshment bars.

The Tourism Ministry has also created a website with further information regarding the project, along with an interactive map of accessible beaches.

At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Online Travel

Online Travel Agency Wheel the World to Offer Guaranteed Accessibility and Price Match

12 months ago

Online travel agency Wheel the World, which serves travelers with disabilities, announced on Thursday that it’s offering guaranteed accessibility and price match for hotel rooms booked on its website.

“We have identified those details of accessibility and the rooms that have those details,” Wheel the World CEO and co-founder Alvaro Silberstein said, adding that the company also offers price matches for hotel rooms booked on other platforms, including, Expedia and Travelocity.

The new features come after the company secured $6 million in what it describes as pre-Series A funding. Venture capital firm Kayak Ventures led the investment. Detroit Venture Partners, REI Co-op Path Ahead Ventures, former CEO Gillian Tans, Dadneo, CLIN Fund, Amarena and WeBoost also participated in the round.

Travel companies have long struggled to cater to travelers with disabilities. Disability rights activist Tanzila Khan addressed challenges members of the segment face in a speech at Skift Global Forum East in Dubai last year.

Traveler in a wheelchair
Guests at the Hotel Sofitel in Brussels (Source: VISITFLANDERS/Flickr)


The Biggest Missing Ingredient for True Accessibility in the Airline Business

1 year ago

A great talk by Michael Swiatek, the chief strategy and planning officer at Avianca, who happens to be legally blind.

Michael has worked in the airline industry for almost 30 years and spends part of his time raising awareness about the importance of accessibility in travel.

He travels frequently for work and believes that the lack of attention paid to accessibility is the main reason travel can be such a hurdle for many people and this presentation calls for why awareness is the biggest hurdle to overcome for true inclusion of travelers of all types. Worth a watch, below.

From IATA’s World Passenger Symposium in Manama, Bahrain last year in November: