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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

'Routes Without Barriers' - Accessible Tourism in Portugal and Spain


This LEADER trans-national cooperation (TNC) project used EAFRD funding to promote "accessible tourism" for people with disabilities in four LAG territories in Portugal and Spain.




A LEADER transnational cooperation (TNC) project that continues from a previous TNC project started in 2005 between two Portuguese and two Spanish LAGs. The main focus of this on-going co-operation is upon the accessibility of tourism services in rural areas for disabled people. The existing tourism resources were identified and reports were prepared with recommendations rendering accessible such resources.

Common Objectives

The project has aimed to: i) reduce existing barriers for disabled people regarding access to leisure and tourism activities; ii) normalize the concept of “universal accessibility” regarding the tourism/leisure resources and services of the partner LAGs; iii) contribute to quality and competitiveness of the tourism sector of the partner LAG areas, and; iv) promote and pursue equality of opportunities and full social integration of disabled people.

Main Joint Activities

The project partners have: a) adapted a museum space in each LAG territory with facilities to allow full accessibility to individuals with disabilities; b) created an interactive website accessible to all users, regardless of their disabilities; c) undertaken many awareness-raising actions; d) published a Technical Manual on “Accessible spaces", and; d) implemented various promotional actions regarding the project ‘brand’ and products, including a new accessible tourism guide and a DVD.

Results and Transferability

By developing and using the concept/brand of "Accessible Tourism" (with its associated complementary activities) the project has helped to strengthen the tourism sector of the 4 LAG areas co-operating in the project. Tourism operators and attractions in each LAG area are now more ‘inclusive’ in terms of their accessibility to disabled visitors and there is also greater uniformity of accessibility between the four LAG areas at the level of products, procedures and individual competences. The geographical proximity between the partner areas was an important contributor to these achievements, facilitating strengthened relationships, knowledge transfer, technical streamlining & decision making.

Lessons learnt

Successful projects of this type need to involve a wide range of actors: touristic regions, authorities, municipalities, associations, entrepreneurs etc. In addition, because a new concept - "accessible tourism” - was being introduced, it was also important to raise awareness amongst these entrepreneurs, authorities and others about the specific needs of people with disabilities and the legislation which protects them.

Project location and other information

Alentejo, Portugal and Extremadura, Spain

Total project cost (€)

362 220

EAFRD contribution (€)

159 998

National contribution (€)

180 000

Private contribution (€)

22 222

Project website

Contact name

Manuela Fialho


+35 126 694 8070

Languages for contact

English, Spanish, Portuguese

At a glance


Spain, Portugal

Number of Partners


Final beneficiary type

Local Action Group, Other

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Implementing the LEADER Approach
• Co-operation projects
• 421. Implementing co-operation projects


Social inclusion, Cooperation, Sustainable development, Local development strategy, Tourism

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