Visits4u. Capacity Building Project Aiming to Improve Inclusive Tourism Provision

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An 18-month, EU-funded COSME project that aims to develop and deliver inclusive tourism training and capacity building to improve user experience and sustain inclusive design in tourism.

Visits4u project logoVisits4u is an 18 month project that aims to develop and deliver inclusive tourism training and capacity building to improve user experience and sustain inclusive design in tourism.

The rationale behind the project derives from relevant research and developments across Europe showing that staff attitude is ranked as a key factor for an enjoyable experience. The quality and availability of the right information to visitors are both considered equally important.

Visits4u has, therefore, aimed to address better customer satisfaction under the inclusive tourism narrative, focusing on enhancing staff skills and improving information accessibility (such as through provision of information in Sign Language and Easy Read). This has been implemented through training, seminars for local tourism companies and development of toolkits (case studies and an online modules) to help embed inclusive practices in the field.

Work packages   

The action is structured in four Work Packages:

1.  Capacity Building

This is the pillar of visits4u; it will include tailored training for partners and local tourism industry staff, entrepreneurs and SMEs and mentoring support to partners by the Coordinator. This package includes the development of a training module on inclusive tourism that will be tested by the respective partners in Italy and Bulgaria.

2. Research and Itinerary Design

Partners will map the current state of provision for the proposed itineraries in detail and present an updated profile of accessibility and tourism in their region. The proposed itineraries will be assessed by an Access professional from the UK.

3. Product Development and Implementation

This will include development of tourism packages in three partner countries (Greece, Latvia, Spain) based on two themes:  modern art and history.  Eventually information on these products will also be made available in Sign Language and Easy Read formats.

4. Dissemination and Evaluation

The last work package will entail actual promotion of the tourist products and sharing of the project results at the final conference in Latvia.

Partners intend to create links with current cross-European initiatives – such as ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism and PANTOU, the cross-European accessible tourism services directory – to reinforce the legacy of visits4u and lead to more potential synergies in the future.

Project Information

visits4u is co-funded by the COSME Programme of the European Union.
Call: COS – TOUR – 2015 – 3 – 04 – 1  
Project number: 699484
Start/End dates: July 2016 – December 2017
For more details go to the project website:


Centre for Accessible Environments, UK (Coordinator)
The Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) has been a leading UK authority on inclusive design for over 40 years. CAE pioneered the provision of access guidance for building designers based on collaborative research with disabled people and has developed the case for designing for disabled people in the context of mainstream inclusive design. Today, CAE offers specialist advice, training and guidance to help others make environments and services more accessible. CAE adopts a pan-disability, inclusive approach, which considers physical, sensory and intellectual access.
Asklipiades South Aegean Regional Social Protection and Solidarity Network, Greece
A newly established social enterprise based on the island of Rhodes (South Greece) actively involved in accessible tourism through accessible transport and equipment hire services to disabled tourists. Their remit is to contribute to making Rhodes an ideal and safe destination for anyone, particularly for disabled people and their companions. They are part of a new stream of social cooperative businesses in the country. Aklipiades are aware that many tourist sites on the island present access barriers (eg. archaeological sites, medieval city) and are therefore committed to improving communication channels and people’s skills to offer an enjoyable experience to visitors on the island
DomSpain Consulting Ltd., Spain
DomSpain is an adult training and development organization working on a national and a European level, working primarily with disabled and elderly people. They have experience in developing tourism related activities at 6 adult education centres of the Tarragona province, with more than 1200 students each academic year. Through their networks and partnerships they have increased understanding of accessibility issues and the need for offering a safe and enjoyable tourist experience for all.
Istituto dei Sordi di Torino, Italy
The Turin Institution for the Deaf is a two centuries old institution, based in north west of Italy, specializing on training and educational services for deaf people from childhood to adulthood. They have been running projects on deaf awareness and inclusion, particularly in museums and cultural organizations in Italy, whilst they have wide experience in cross-European projects that promote access for deaf people.
Municipality of Rhodes (Dimos Rodou), Greece
Rhodes is a tourist destination on the South East Aegean Sea. The Municipality has recently adopted a new policy and strategies to modernize the approach to tourism marketing. A principal aim of this policy is to create a new ‘inclusive’ tourism profile for the island that will include single full-service and public - private partnerships. It therefore actively encourages SMEs in the tourism sector to collaborate and partner with the local authority to improve and expand the scope of Rhodes tourism market.
Nikanor LTD, Bulgaria
Nikanor is a vocational training center, specializing on training personnel for the tourism sector. Accession to the European Union has made short-term tourism courses more popular comparing to long-term ones in Bulgaria. Nikanor stands right at this point in the industry offering a variety of short courses in tourism. Over the past five years, they have run courses for unemployed young people and disabled people. One of their primary goals for the future is to strategically develop and expand their expertise in tourism education.
Nodibinajums Invalidu un Vinu Draugu Apvieniba Apeirons, Latvia
‘Apeirons’ is a disabled-led organisation of people with disabilities and their friends. Their primary aim is to raise awareness on universal design in the built environment and services. They are actively supporting arts and cultural organisations and business on what they can do to improve their inclusive practices.