Accessible Tourism or Tourism for All?

Versão Portuguesa

Business sustainability

This text is a summary of an article published in the journal “Turismo e Desenvolvimento” at the  Aveiro’s University

The Accessible Tourism has an audience duly completed: are people with a physical or sensory, temporary or permanent.

Rarely families are seen who choose to take with holiday elements or older with a disability holidays. While not all companies in the tourism sector were able to look at these people and their families for such a  market target to consider.

 The Accessible tourism is a form of inclusive tourism which provides that all persons irrespective of their age, physical disability, their tastes can enjoy, participate and take advantage of tourism products and services in destinations accessible to all.

As in other areas of business comes from the concept of Desgin for All under Tourism. This concept aims tht Universal Accessibility, which includes: the built environment, products and services, which are not discriminatory, but safe, healthy, functional, aesthetic and understandable.

The Design for all ensures the implementation of solutions that are essential for 10% of the population necessary for 40% of the population and comfortable 100% of the population.

The economic sustainability in the tourism sector and the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises sector can be enhanced by awareness and demands for its development and to improve service quality and accessibility of tourist destinations.

Product quality and innovation are important factors for the tourism industry and to destinations remain competitive.

 The Tourism for All, is more than one answer. It is an approach to challenges. It is also a business opportunity and corporate social responsibility sector.

How to succeed and advance in the implementation of tourism for all in a company or a tourist destination?

 Tourist destinations and service providers should be able to put themselves in the field of Tourism for All.

The main challenges are:

• Reducing theseasonality of demand.

• Increasing the quality and diversity of supply.

• Minimizing the use of resources.

• Responding effectively to climate change

• Provide effective response to demographic changes.

• Making holidays available to all.

The implementation of the processes necessary for transformation into a destination accessible to all should be completed in a progressive manner. The process of developing a destination place has four phases.

Phase of awareness.

• It attracted the interest of decision makers (politicians and businessmen).

• It raised interest in the potential establishment of a network of partners.

• Getting goals and expectations are defined and diagnosed some accessibility limitations on the supply side.

• It aroused interest through awareness and training.

 Start-up phase

• Awareness has increased among tourism professionals and providers of tourism services.

• Accessibility is evaluated and needs are identified for action.

• Develops a concept with a specific objective and program of action is developed (Strategic Plan or Master Plan).

• They develop pragmatic solutions to the design of the facilities and the distribution of information.

Stage of development and strengthening

• The main attractions are accessible to all guests.

• They develop more services and facilities.

• The distribution of information is included as an element of business strategy, being sent to each of the target audiences.

Phase consolidation and differentiation

• High quality facilities are available throughout the service chain.

• Strengthening of differentiation and network connection of existing services and facilities.

• Increased specialization in special population groups.

There are tools like regulatory and legal types allow better opportunities in Tourism for All.

 Tools for the stages of awareness and beginning

• Legislation

• Standards

• Accessibility Plans

• “Commitment to Design for All”

Tools for controlling the phase of strengthening

• Analyze complaints

• Creation of figure Provider Customer

• Surveys

Tools consolidation phase

• Application of marketing models and other tools as: AIDA Model

“A Flag of Towns and Cities for All”

How to measure the impact

1st. Methods for evaluation of products (criteria and standards for accessibility).

2nd. Analysis of the impact (economic impact).

3rd. The quality evaluation

4th. Continuous Improvement (Total Quality Management)

12 steps to develop a tourist destination for all

1st. Awareness that tourism brings economic benefits to all.

2nd. Integrating the concerns of those responsible (define responsibilities).

3rd. Cooperation / networking between stakeholders in the destination.

4th. Inclusion of travelers and location of affected persons.

5th. Strategic plan to make affordable destination.

6th. Analysis of tourist destination from the point of view of accessibility (acessibility map).

7th. Mobilization and qualification of suppliers of tourism services.

Eight. Development and implementation of best practices.

9th. Product development and marketing.

10th.. Warranty and accessibility as a selection criterion for hiring public / private and granting of concessions.

11th. Customer relationship management (public relations).

12th. Assessing the impact of these measures.


Tourism and Development Magazine, No. 11, 2009, University of Aveiro

Rafael Montes – PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration, University of Barcelona, ​​Managing Partner of Ltd. And Delegate of Design for All Foundation.

Francesc Aragall – Degree in Pedagogy Therapeutics, University of Barcelona. President of Design for All Foundation and President of the International ProAsolutions.

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