OK:GO promotes the availability of information on the accessibility of tourism offers in Switzerland. Project manager Julia chose the newly renovated Rapperswil-Jona Youth Hostel for a photo shoot of the initiative. But the spotlight is on Sara* and her twins.
*the names are fictitious
Together for a barrier-free Switzerland
It’s a cloudy afternoon and we walk from Rapperswil station to the youth hostel. It is beautifully located right in the middle of the fields and only a few metres from Lake Zurich. Our goal: Taking photos of Sara, her big pram and her two cute twins to illustrate the OK:GO initiative.
OK:GO was launched by the Association for Accessible Switzerland and aims to ensure that all tourism service providers in Switzerland inform the public about the accessibility of their offers. In this way, people with disabilities, senior citizens and families with small children can plan their trips more easily and independently.
The Swiss Youth Hostels are actively involved in the OK:GO initiative and are pioneers in this field. And so, the accessibility of the youth hostels provided the basis for the OK:GO initiative.
“We participate in the OK:GO initiative because accessibility plays an important role for us and we see it as our mission in the tourism industry to make our hostels accessible for everyone.“ “
René Dobler, CEO of the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism
The commitment to socially responsible tourism has always been anchored in the Swiss Youth Hostels’ mission statement. This is why they design their products and services in such a way that everyone can visit the youth hostels.
The Swiss Youth Hostels are currently collecting information on the accessibility of over 50 youth hostels on site for this reason. Information on the accessibility of the respective hostel is conveniently available to guests at youthhostel.ch.
No obstacles for the twin buggy at Youth Hostel
Back to Rapperswil: After a walk along the lake on a beautiful reed-lined path, we reach the youth hostel. Access to the building is easy thanks to the ramp. Inside we are welcomed by Brigitte. As hostess of Rapperswil Youth Hostel, she and her husband have been attending to the well-being of their guests for 30 years.
We’d like to take the lift to the first floor and see an obstacle-free family room. Is it wide enough? It is – and the pram goes in quite smoothly.
We enter the family room with its minimalist and elegant design. The pram also fits. The door’s wide enough. The barrier-free bathroom is brand new.
Back to the dining room. The wide space is pleasant for Sara, who has plenty of room to manoeuvre her pram. After the children have had their snack, it’s time to return to the station to catch the train.
Thanks to OK:GO, parents with prams like Sara, people with disabilities or elderly people who find it difficult to get around can plan their trip in advance.
They can check the hostel’s website to see whether the entrance, the lift or the room door is wide enough for them, for example. They can also make sure there is a lift to the rooms or parking spaces nearby.
The OK:GO initiative addresses all tourism providers and motivates them to participate in the initiative. The following video explains why this is so important and how exactly it works:
About the author
Julia is a project coordinator for the OK:GO initiative. Together with her colleagues Carol and Michèle, she motivates the Swiss tourism industry to participate in the initiative. They are driven by their commitment to more autonomous mobility. Outside the office, she tours Switzerland with her two-year-old son and experiments with pram mobility on a daily basis.