ACCESS-IT. Innovation for Accessible Tourism in Natural and Rural Areas

Share on social media

An EU-funded ERASMUS plus project on vocational education and training. Key Action 2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.

logo of ACCESS-IT with figure of walking person with backpack and walking stick, three pine trees and sun An EU-funded ERASMUS plus project on vocational education and training.

The Access-IT project seeks to address the competence gap on accessible tourism amomg SMEs in the toursm sector by offering a comprehensive training in the fields of accessible tourism, innovation and sustainable development of Natural and Rural Areas (NRAs).

The overall objective of the project is to build capacity of EU tourism SMEs operating in NRAs to bridge accessibility gaps through stakeholder co-design of innovative solutions for tourism products for customers with specific access requirements.

Specific objectives are:

  1. Identify the determinants of tourism accessibility in NRAs
  2. Develop case studies of accessible tourism in NRAs, utilising video and other methods for capturing and recording access improvements and first-hand user experiences
  3. Provide hands-on business support and guidance, advancing the innovation capability of tourism SMEs for the development of accessible tourism products in cooperation with key stakeholders
  4. Create a solid foundation for usability and transferability of the project outputs to a wider audience of stakeholders
  5. Increase awareness of business opportunities in the accessible tourism market among EU tourism SMEs operating in NRAs.


The project utilises life-cycle methodology, which defines a sequence of activities for planning, executing and disseminating project results.

During the project lifetime, the following intellectual outputs will be developed:

O1 Mapping report on determinants of tourism accessibility in NRAs, based on a genuine research into accessibility barriers and accessibility improvement challenges experienced by tourism SMEs;
O2 Video case studies of accessible tourism, based on interviews with tourism SMEs that implemented innovative solutions for improving accessibility of their products/services, and managed to commercialize their new or improved offers;
O3 Interactive business support toolkit, including “How to” guidelines for undertaking strategic approach to innovation in the development of accessible tourism products, web-based accessibility performance appraisal tool, and scenarios for co-design sessions;
O4 Recommendations booklet summarizing good practices and success stories of stakeholder co- design of accessible tourism offers.

The project is targeted at: tourism SMEs operating in NRAs (owners, managers, staff), destination management bodies in NRAs, VET providers offering programmes and courses in the field of tourism, individual learners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Stakeholder co-design sessions, planned to be held within the project, will also involve people with specific access requirements.

More than 700 representatives of the project target groups and stakeholders will be directly involved in the project activities and events, such as surveys, stakeholder roundtables, training workshops and conferences. In addition, the project consortium intends to reach at least 5000 rural enterprises through targeted dissemination of the project results.

We hope new VET training delivered by the project will help managers of tourism SMEs in NRAs to develop new and better tourist offerings, thus entering an untapped market of accessible tourism and stimulating growth of their businesses. This will eventually benefit tourists with access requirements, who will be able to participate in а much larger number of leisure activities. This will also lead to improved social inclusion and growth of the local and regional economies in turn, bringing heightened wellbeing for persons with disabilities.


  • SPOLECZNA AKADEMIA NAUK - University of Social Sciences, Poland  (Coordinator)
  • MOLISE VERSO IL 2000 scrl Italy

Further information and contact

Project Manager: Aleksandra Konopka


Logo of ERASMUS+ programmeERASMUS plus Key Action 2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices. KA202 - Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training.
PROJECT NUMBER 2019-1-PL01-KA202-065140

EU disclaimer:
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication and communications only reflect the view of the authors. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.