The 3nd Thematic Workshop of the DESTI-SMART project, titled “Accessible Tourism: Accessibility for visitors with mobility problems”, took place on March 10, 2020 through Videoconfernece. The Workshop was organised by the Environment Department of the Mallorca Island Council, Spain with the contribution of the DESTI-SMART Project Management & Coordination Unit (MCU).
The purpose of the Workshop was the participants to exchange experience, present good practices, innovations and their own plans and priorities on initiatives on accessibility for visitors with mobility problem at partners’ destinations.
‘Accessible Tourism’ requires a holistic approach, ensuring overall accessibility at the destination and not only of individual services. It requires coordination of transport planning and creation of synergies between transport and tourism stakeholders.
Experiences and good practices were transferred among all partner destinations, including low-floor technology in buses and improvements in the bus stops, audio passenger information, tactile flooring and lift for wheelchairs in train stations, tourist information applications, automatic validation operations, even accessible ships, as well as good practices from the European Network for Accessible Tourism and the HANDISPORT Foundation which supports accessible tourism in the island of Mallorca.
Discussion followed among partners on potential accessible tourism actions that can be proposed in the project Action Plans and improvement of policy instruments, as well as capacity building in the field of accessibility.
The main conclusion of the workshop is that ‘accessibility’ is a very challenging and under research topic, let alone as for accessible tourism. ‘Accessibility’ is a main component of Smart Destinations, thus ‘Accessible Tourism’ which involves the concepts of ‘equal opportunities’, ‘social policy’ and ‘tourism’ needs to be addressed from several aspects. Accessible Tourism’ requires a holistic approach, ensuring overall accessibility at the destination and not only of individual services. It also requires coordination of transport planning and creation of synergies between transport and tourism stakeholders, as DESTI-SMART initiates.