News Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism

140 tourism businesses in the Basque Country now have the Accessibility seal

2010 November 12

The Vice Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, presided over the first seal award event

140 tourism businesses in the Basque Country now have the Accessibility seal. This is the result of the Accessibility Programme developed by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism of the Basque Government, which prepares tourism businesses to orientate their services to all people bearing in mind five types of functional diversity: physical, visual, additive, intellectual and organic (people with breathing difficulties or who require specific diets).

32 of these 140 businesses attended the auditorium at the headquarters of the Basque Government, in Vitoria, to receive the seal from the Vice Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, who was accompanied by the Director for Tourism, Isabel Muela. Among the businesses to receive the award are Tourist Offices, hotels, tourist apartments, interpretation centres

The Basque Tourist Accessibility Programme aims to add quality to Basque Country Tourism through an advanced model of accessibility based on a concept of greater comfort for everyone. In this way, the programme supports tourism businesses in the improving their accessibility to attract a growing number of clients. 

After creating the programme, a pilot test was carried out in 200 tourism businesses and the initiative was launched for the entire sector. Prior training is provided by Euskalit, and a diagnosis of the state of accessibility is carried out. Businesses participating in the programme have been able to access finance for improvements that were identified.

This initiative is part of a general policy directed at improving quality, as well as the deseasonalization and diversification of tourist activity. This arose from the need to provide people with accessibility needs -both residents and tourists- and their relatives and friends, with a quality tourist service, offering safety and comfort at tourism businesses in the Basque Country.

The data are clear: nowadays the rate of over 65 year olds in Spain is 16.6% and is expected to increase to 20% by the year 2020 and up to 36% for 2050, and the current rate of persons with some kind of disability in Spain is 9%, rising to 15.7% in Europe. In Europe alone, the demand for accessibility applies to 127 million people. We have to add to them those people with temporary accessibility needs due to different causes.

Pilot test

The following step in this initiative is 'Tourism for everyone' in the Basque Country, a pilot project is being implemented for five tourist destinations (three capital cities, Zarautz and Rioja Alavesa) and a travel agency, with which specific tourist packages are being defined for persons with disabilities and which are expected to be commercialized from next year. 

The businesses which received the accessibility seal are:

Hotel Castle of Arteaga


Tolosaldea Tourist Office


Santurtzi Tourist Office


Muxikako Urune Hotel 


Apartments Irenaz Vitoria 


Leagi  Camp Site in Mendexa


Gran Hotel Lakua in Vitoria-Gasteiz


Nabarnizko Artzube erretegia 


Sopelana Tourist Office


Hotel Arrizul in Donostia-San Sebastián


Hotel Arrizul Gros in Donostia-San Sebastián


Pensión Mélida  in Ermua


Oñati Tourist Office


San Sebastián Tourist Office. 


Zarauz Tourist Office


Tolosako Korteta nekazalturismoa 


Lekeitio Tourist Office


Ondarroa Tourist Office


Elikatuz  Interpretation Centre in Ordizia


Ordizia Tourist Office


Zerain Tourist Office


Zeraingo Meategietako Interpretation Centre


Ardixarra Interpretation Centre in Segura


Segura Tourist Office


Idiazabalgo gaztaren Interpretation Centre


Hotel Azkoaga Enea in Eskoriatza


Hotel Loiu in Loiu


Restaurante Guardi in Idiazabal


Pensión Easo in Donostia-San Sebastián 


Water and fishing school Interpretation Centre in Leizarán


Ohiarte Nekazalturismoa

Ohiarte Sagardotegia



Vitoria-Gasteiz, 12th November 2010



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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)
Other guests
  • The Vice Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla