(ATR) Japanese officials are pledging that all hotel rooms that are being converted for the Paralympics will remain accessible as part of the legacy of the Games.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (Flickr)
This agreement, according to The Guardian
, was reached after the newspaper reported in April that British Paralympic officials were told that hotels near their training camp in Yokohama were demanding they pay for making rooms accessible and then pay to convert the rooms back after the Paralympics.
The issue became harder to solve due to the fact that neither Tokyo 2020 organizers nor the government had any say in the matter. The decision was up to the hotels. Eventually, the city of Yokohama stepped in and brokered a deal with the hotels.
Accessible hotel rooms have been a concern for Tokyo since winning the right to host the 2020 Paralympics, and is an issue that has routinely drawn the attention of the International Paralympic Committee.
Earlier this year, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that it has 550 rooms that qualify as being accessible for the 2020 Paralympics. That is 300 rooms short of the “estimated demand” of 850 rooms needed during the Paralympics based on the TMG’s internal metrics.
Plans are already in place by both the Japanese government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government to increase the number of accessible hotel rooms. Starting in September, the national government will require new and refurbished hotels with more than 50 rooms to have one percent of rooms set aside as accessible.
But after a project review in March, the IPC admitted “we are well aware that we are unlikely to have sufficient fully accessible rooms ready for Games-time" and were continuing to work closely with Tokyo 2020 to seek alternatives.
Homepage Photo: Flickr
Written by Greer Wilson.
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