Arthurs Seat Skylift Takes Shape

The construction of the Iconic Arthurs Seat Skylift moves a step closer today with the erection of the gondola's support pylons.

The pylons were skillfully flown into place by a heavy lift helicopter overseen by the Australian lift company Doppelmayr.



Skylift will set new standards in Accessible Tourism

The new Skylift will consist of fully enclosed 8 seat Goldolas making it an all weather attraction and for the first time allowing people of all abilities to take in the spectacular views over Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula from Arthurs Seat. 

It will help revitalise Arthurs Seat State Park by creating an internationally recognised attraction, and contribute to the Mornington Peninsula’s economy through tourism and employment.

The upper and lower station buildings will each feature a loading area, mezzanine level, café/kiosk, information centre, toilets and office space.

Accessibility Features
  • Slow moving Gondolas in the stations allowing level access for wheelchairs, prams and strollers
  • Improved car parking overall and level accessible parking
  • Ramped access throughout
  • Accessible observations decks
  • Accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility


The $16 million project will not only be a major tourism asset for the state of Victoria but it will be a world class Accessible Facility to cater for the rapidly growing Accessible Tourism market.

The Skylift chief, Hans Brugman said today:

Making it completely accessible has increased the cost of this project significantly but it was important to do it.

TravAbility's Founder, Bill Forrester said:

As a major iconic tourist attraction for both the Mornington Peninsula and the City of Melbourne, it is important that such a development be fully inclusive to everyone.

The Arthur Seat Skylift project has taken the time and effort to understand the needs of the disabled traveller. By changing their approach away from a compliance to customer focus, the developers have gone far and above their obligations under the building codes. They have fully embraced the spirit of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially Article 30, and in doing so have created a truly world class accessible concept.

The Arthur Seat Skylift has the potential to create a significant competitive advantage for the Mornington Peninsula and the City of Melbourne in attracting the Accessible Tourism market, as well as enhancing the city’s reputation as being the “Most Livable City” for all.


Gondola - Artists Impression


Upper Station - Artists Impression


The next major milestone will be the arrival of the Gondolas from Switzerland.

The Skylift is expected to be operational before the end of the year.


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NSW takes the lead in Accessible Tourism with a major Ministerial Forum

Minister for Disability Services and Ageing John Ajaka today welcomed people with disability and representatives from government, business, academia and the non-government organisations to a forum focused on making tourism more accessible in NSW.

In doing so NSW is recognising the key importance Accessible Tourism will have on the industry in the coming years. It is already a major market segment but with an ageing and retiring population it will become a critical element of any tourism strategy and a major source of competitive advantage.

We were delighted to be one of more than 55 representatives who attended the Ministerial Forum on Accessible Tourism at NSW Parliament House, including representatives from Lonely Planet, Zomato, the NSW Business Chamber and New Earth Tourism.“Everyone, regardless of their age or disability, should be able to enjoy everything NSW has to offer,” Mr Ajaka said.

“However, if we are going to make our community truly inclusive, we need to identify and remove existing barriers to make our world-class holiday destinations and tourist attractions more accessible.”

“Accessible tourism is a large and growing opportunity for the tourism and hospitality sector. By finding new ways to make travel and tourism more accessible we will deliver a boost to the sector and generate more jobs,” Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said.

In 2010, accessible tourism was worth $8 billion and represented 11% of the tourism market in NSW.

The Ministerial Forum is aimed at developing three to five practical ideas to improve access to tourism services, improve information about local facilities like accessible toilets and accommodation, and increase participation of older people, people with disability and their carers in tourist and recreation activities.

To further support accessible tourism, the NSW Government has commissioned the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute of Public Policy and Governance to identify innovative and practical ideas that will enhance accessible tourism in NSW.

The ideas and insights generated from the Ministerial Forum will help inform the development of a future NSW Accessible Tourism Plan for NSW.

Enhancing accessible tourism in NSW aligns with the objects of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014, the Disability Inclusion Plan and the NSW Ageing Strategy.

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The Opening of the First Accessible Wharf for Gondolas

Venice, March 2016 the opening of the first accessible wharf for gondolas in Venice, in front of Piazzale Roma, Fondamenta Cossetti. 

This project created by the non- profit organization Gondolas4ALL, represents the first landing place able to allow people with different kinds of disabilities to get on and off a gondola. 

Enrico Greifenberg and Alessandro Dalla Pietà, the two founders of this association, have been dreaming of this project for more than 20 years. In 2012, they decided to apply themselves to the realization of a permanent structure, in order to allow anybody to enjoy an exciting gondola tour. 

The Tourism Department of Veneto Region decided to support their project into the Project of Excellence in Tourism “ Development of Social and Accessible Tourism”. 

After being guest at the stand of Veneto Region at the event Gitando.all in 2014 and at MOVE in 2015, Gondolas4ALL, as the only and exclusive subject of this initiative, has received funding aimed to cover in part the realization costs. 

Fabio and Nicola Domeneghini of Fadiel Italiana & SMDM, Roberto DeCarli of Rein, Lucart Group, Pierluigi Moro and Silvia Dabrilli of Studio Moro Architetti, supporters of this project since the beginning, have completed the work.

 Marco Maggia, owner of Ermitage Bel Air Medical Hotel and the city of Abano Terme supported the project with a contribution.

In 2015, Honorable Domenico Rossi Secretary of State to the Defense, invited Gondolas4all to Rome giving them the support of the Ministry of Defense. 

In September 2015 in Madrid, invited by Fundacion Once, they presented Gondolas4ALL at the 5th International Congress “Technology and Tourism For All”. 

In the same period, Gondolas4ALL filmed in Venice “Smart Aarhus in Documentary on Sustainable Cities”, a documentary about the best practices in 24 European Cities, selected by Kryzistof Baczynski Europe commission Architecture,Urban Plannig Engineering. 

The new service will begin in about a month after the training of new professionals and final tests .

The project is seeking public support to raise about 80,000 ( eighty thousand ) Euros . 

You can support Gondolas4all through the following link

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VisitEngland launches Access for All campaign

VisitEngland, the national tourist board, is today launching a new Access for All campaign, aimed to raise awareness of accessible destinations and businesses in England, informing disabled people of accommodation and visitor attractions when planning a day trip or holiday.

Following a successful pilot project in 2013/14 with four destinations; VisitEngland accessed funding from the European Commission to expand the Access for All initiative, with a grant of €125,000. For the past year VisitEngland has been working with seven local destination partners across the country to create a series of access guides covering coastal, countryside and city destinations. These are:

  • Visit Kent
  • Marketing Birmingham
  • Visit Lincoln
  • Northumberland Tourism
  • Visit Peak District and Derbyshire
  • Experience Nottinghamshire
  • Visit Brighton

56 businesses are involved in the project including a mix of accommodation and attractions such as Lincoln Cathedral, Brighton & Hove Buses, Chatsworth House, Turner Contemporary, Hotel La Tour, Vindolanda Roman Fort and Nottingham Belfry amongst many others. The businesses involved have worked hard to make changes – focusing on positive action – to improve perceptions of Accessible England.

VisitEngland research highlights that the overnight accessible tourism market is now worth £3billion to the English economy, with day visits bringing the figure up to £12.1 billion. Over the past few years overnight trips by disabled travellers and their companions have increased by 19 per cent with spend up by 33 per cent. 

The Purple Pound presents tourism businesses and destinations with a huge opportunity for economic growth. New figures from VisitEngland confirm an approximate value of overnight accessible tourism to the destinations involved:

  • Kent: £60m
  • Birmingham: £50m
  • Lincoln: £9m
  • Northumberland: £65m
  • Derbyshire: £45m
  • Nottinghamshire: £30m
  • Brighton and Hove: £14m

Some of the great initiatives include those introduced by Brighton & Hove Buses (part of the Go-Ahead group) which provides wheelchair access to 100 per cent of their fleet. They are trialling the use of hearing loop systems on a bus; have a Helping Hand yellow card scheme; offer a wheelchair taxi guarantee if someone cannot get onto the bus and have many innovations to help disabled visitors use their buses.

VisitEngland Chief Executive, James Berresford, said: 

"The accessible tourism market is worth a sizable £12.1 billion to the English economy and many tourism businesses are realising that catering for disabled customers is not only a necessity but a wise investment that brings a host of business benefits. Many of the changes businesses make may be small, but combined contribute significantly to the visitor experience." 


The Access for All project has consisted of two phases: product development, where businesses receive direct support to improve their accessibility with the help of access advisors, and a national consumer marketing campaign launching today. The tourism businesses are being directly supported as part of the project to improve their accessibility. Accommodation and attractions have been audited by a professional access advisor and many have received a mystery visit from guests with accessibility requirements. A training course was held in each destination for accessibility champions and customer-facing staff have completed online disability awareness training. Businesses also received personal feedback on their Access Statement, improving information detailing their accessibility.

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