RDP project database
'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.
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.
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 (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Private contribution (€)
+35 126 694 8070
Languages for contact
English, Spanish, Portuguese
Original Language version
At a glance
Number of Partners
Final beneficiary type
Local Action Group, Other
€100 000 - €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Implementing the LEADER Approach
421. Implementing co-operation projects
Social inclusion, Cooperation, Sustainable development, Local development strategy, Tourism