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ACCESSible Tourism for Outdoor and Urban Routes

31/01/2015 | 0 comments

Short description of project

ACCESSTOUR is an acronym expressing accessible tourism in a short way. Accessible tourism could be considered disadvantaged in comparison with more traditional mass tourism. In the last years accessible tourism has become synonym of high quality care for persons with special needs and accessible destinations. The project aims at marking out the special qualities of accessibility implemented with effective and user friendly services.

In this view the project is relevant to the objectives of the call for proposals 102/G/ENT/PPA/13/511, specifically to “foster adaptation of tourism products and services to the needs of people with special access needs”, also with the participation to WTM and ITB and organizing an international final ACCESSTOUR Workshop and Exhibition.

The project aims also to “promote market and disseminate best practices in accessible tourism”, “provide adequate support and guidance to SMEs”.

The ACCESSTOUR project is particularly focused on diversifying European tourism products, as in the Communication “Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe” adopted by the Commission on 30 June 2010, with specific reference to valorise the European heritage and “enhance the quality and diversify the offer of accessible tourism experiences in Europe”.

In particular, the project aims at developing a repeatable and transferable tourism management and marketing model based on sustainable and quality offers for the European Accessible Destinations.

The ACCESSTOUR project is engaged to create the right balance between a social-economic view, a welfare perspective and a rights-based approach, following the official documents of the international institutions and more specifically of the European Commission. The project will valorise therefore the principles and the most successful initiatives of accessible tourism starting from the state-of-the-art, studies performed and best practices experienced by advanced accessible tourism operators and their associations and networks, such as ENAT.

The main objective of the ACCESSTOUR project, responding to this vision, consists in creating a demonstrative pilot model, repeatable and transferable to regions and contexts all over Europe, of knowledge, best practices, training, and communication models for accessible tourism involving tourists with special needs, host communities and tour operators.

Main objectives

The ACCESSTOUR project will develop a complete framework of knowledge and tools on accessible tourism in Europe. The involvement of professionals, tour operators, experts and institutions on the theme of accessible tourism and opportunities based on visits, excursions and services, aims at following up and implementing previous studies promoted by the European Commission, European Parliament, United Nations, WTO and ENAT in the last ten years.

The participation to the most important European tourism exhibitions, WTM in London and ITB in Berlin, with a stand proposing accessible tourism materials and packages, aims at presenting the initiatives of the Consortium and the opportunities for tour operators and individuals to benefit from information, communication and real services in the countries involved in the project.

The organization at the end of the project of the ACCESSTOUR Workshop and Exhibition in Amsterdam, with participation of all the partners and exhibitors from other countries will be the first initiative on this specific theme in the Netherlands.

Step by step, the main project activities and deliverables are:

  • Phase 1 – (3 months: 1-3) - Knowledge and experience sharing within the partnership on different typologies of accessible tourism linked to the mobility needs of persons with physical and mental disabilities. Main output: State-of-the-art and Profiles of Accessible Tourism in Europe.
  • Phase 2 – (3 months:4-6) Accessible Tourism Survey - Drawing up accessible tourism and mobility needs of different target groups listed from Phase 1 with questionnaires on internet and on paper in different languages carried out by the partners distributed to groups before the travel (expectations) and after the travel (customer satisfaction). Main output: Accessible Tourism Need Analysis Report.
  • Phase 3 – (4 months: 6-9) Accessible Tourism Design - Design of case studies and good practices on different kind of transportation, tourism destinations, leisure activities and services. ACCESSTOUR Website and social networks. Main outputs: Handbook of case studies and best practices on accessible tourism; ACCESSTOUR Leaflet; ACCESSTOUR Web Platform; Mid-term report.
  • Phase 4 - (4 months: 9-12) Dissemination of the Project Ongoing Results and Accessible Tourism Offer (WTM London, November 2015). Piloting tests with experts, tour operators, tourism company employees and policy makers on the materials from the “Handbook of case studies and best practices on accessible tourism”. Mailing list of tour operators interested to get information and training materials on accessible tourism standards and solutions. Evaluation of the ACCESSTOUR. Project design. Main outputs: Participation to the WTM London 2015; Piloting tests organized by each partner in own country.
  • Phase 5 – (4 months: 12-15) Project Implementation with Accessible Tourism Offer, Promotion and Marketing. Setting up and adapting accessible tourism proposals addressed to persons with different kind of disabilities tested on related specific target groups and presented in the framework of international tourism exhibitions, also including specific promotion workshops and events on accessible tourism. Dissemination of the project ongoing results and accessible tourism offer (ITB Berlin, February 2016) Output: Project Implementation with Accessible Tourism Offer, Promotion and Marketing; Participation to the ITB Berlin 2015.
  • Phase 6 – (4 months: 15-18) Design, Implementation, Promotion and Marketing for Accessible Tourism Itineraries in Europe International final conference and exhibition with presentation of the project results and promotion of the accessible tourism offer. Output: Design, Implementation, Promotion and Marketing for Accessible Tourism Itineraries in Europe; International Final Conference and ACCESSTOUR Exhibition in Amsterdam (March 2016).

Lead partner/coordinator: Comunità Montana Associazione dei Comuni Trasimeno - Medio Tevere (Italy)


  • Accessible Travel Netherlands (The Netherlands)
  • Accessible Poland Tours (Poland)
  • Vectio, Agência de Viagens, Accessible Portugal (Portugal)
  • Toegankelijkheidsbureau VZW (Belgium)
  • Grifoviaggi (Italy)

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European Commission funded project, reference page:


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General Information

Submitted by: Ivor Ambrose
Author(s): M. Canalicchio, I. Montagnoli
Language(s): EN
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2016
Countries: Belgium | Italy | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal


Publisher: European Commission
Date published on the web: 23/01/2015

Target Group(s)

Consumers / travellers / tourists | Employees and Trades Unions | Employers and Employers organisations | Families with small children | Non-governmental organisations | Older people / Seniors | Organisations of disabled people | Organisations of older people | People with a service animal | People with disabilities | People with hearing impairments | People with learning difficulties | People with long-term health problems | People with mobility impairments | People with visual impairments | Policy makers /Decision makers / Government | Professionals and professional bodies | Public administrators / Authorities | Tour operators | Tourist venue owners / managers | Travel agents | Wheelchair users


Accessibility auditing | Accessibility information, access guides | Accommodation services | Architecture, design and planning | Assistive Technologies | Attractions | Beaches | Buildings and facilities design, maintenance | Bus and coach transport, touring | Cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs | Customer relations | Cycling and mountain biking | Demographics | Design Guidelines, Design-for-All | Disability, disabilities, technical aids | Education, training | Employment, working conditions | Festivals - music, dance | Food and drink | Heritage | Hospitality | Hotel management, hotel business | Information and Communication Technologies | Insurance services | Location-based services | Management of tourist venues and attractions | Medical and nursing care, treatment | Nature holidays | Nature parks | Policy, legislation | Publishing | Retail | Safety and security issues | Social tourism | Special services for disabled visitors | Standards | Suppliers of equipment | Theme parks, leisure parks and water parks | Tourist information services | Transport services | Travel bags, luggage, accessories | Travel agents | Walking and hiking | Young childrens' and families' holidays and services | Youth tourism