I am particularly delighted to have been invited to address the issuance of this Tourist Guide implemented under the "Ayia Napa – Rethymno Universally Accessible Cities" Project.
This project gave us the chance to see urban space in a new light and redesign it with new priorities and vision in mind. Now that the project is nearly over, we are confident that it will create a momentum for similar undertakings aimed at expanding the intervention areas so that our Municipality can become Universally Accessible. There is no doubt that this process has made us more conscious of the concept of space. Furthermore, other initiatives undertaken by the Municipality have drawn heavily on the philosophy of this project.
At this point, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our stakeholders. The cooperation of our Municipality with the Municipality of Rethymno began in 1996, the year of our twinning, and is the continuance of a long-standing friendship. This project merely provided the focus for us to get to know the National Confederation of Disabled People in Greece and act jointly. We know very well that the Confederation has fought hard and for a long time to support disabled people in all areas. It has also made a decisive contribution in our joint effort, as it provided its know-how and support to the planning needs of both Municipalities.
Our initiatives have significantly improved the urban environment for our citizens and have also opened doors for new friends and visitors to come in, who were hindered from visiting us – until now. Apart from our venues, we make sure that all information on our municipality is universally accessible while furthering education of the public and of local businesses in matters of disability and accessibility.
Even though the "Ayia Napa – Rethymno Universally Accessible Cities" Project is coming to a successful end, physical and financial constraints prevent our city from being fully and completely accessible yet. However, we pledge that Accessibility will be our top priority, and building on this project, we will continue to expand and improve our venues so that Ayia Napa can be accessible to all. Until then, I assure you that our hearts and our people will be "universally accessible" and our municipality services will be available to assist all our visitors.
We aspire that this guide will enable us to launch a two-way communication, so we urge you to communicate to us your remarks so that this guide can be enriched and become a tourist development tool for all.
Mayor of the Municipality of Ayia Napa