The upgrading of 20 museums and archaeological sites services, for a total of 169, will be completed by the end of the summer. The remaining 149 will go up to the A1 category in the next three years, based on the time schedule of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Paul Geroulanos. Up until now, no Greek museum or archaeological site, not even the Acropolis, has gone up so high in the rankings.
The upgrading of the services mainly concerns the issue of leaflets in two languages, the placement of large informational signs, and the installation of outposts and toilets for the disabled and automatic water / soft drink machines, where necessary.
By the end of July, information leaflets will have been delivered to 20 museums and archaeological sites, which will be the first to climb to the A1 category. The number of leaflets issued will vary depending on the tourist traffic of each cultural site. On top of all sites is the ”Sacred Rock of Acropolis”, for which approximately 800,000 brochures have already been issued.
The general secretary of the ministry L. Mendoni spoke about the excellent cooperation the ministry had with the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece, regarding the issue of brochures in a Braille system, with which 110 archaeological sites will be equipped.
In collaboration with the National Tourism Organisation, the 20 upgraded sites will be integrated into the digital convergence program of the organization which means that their guests will have the opportunity to participate in digital tours through new generation mobile phones.
Among the 20 upgraded areas are archaeological sites and museums with large number of visitors, including the Acropolis and other monuments of its surrounding area, Knossos, Olympia and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, as well as museums with less tourist traffic such as the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens.
Changes will occur regarding the prices of tickets, as the aim of the ministry is to introduce single daily or weekly tickets.
“All the adjustments to the new prices will have have been passed through by the Central Archaeological Council, by September, 2011, at the latest ,” said Mr. Mendoni, who hopes that by next year, vending machines will be operating in 30 sites.