One in three people in the world have special accessibility needs, either permanent or temporary. In Portugal, there are about one million people with specific needs, 2.5 million seniors, 550,000 children under 5 years of age and thousands of other people with temporary or permanent limitations.
In a joint initiative between Accessible Portugal, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation and Turismo de Portugal with the support of ENAT – European Network for Accessible Tourism, and in collaboration with PREDIF in Spain, supported by the Vodafone Spain Foundation, efforts are being joined to create the first Iberian platform for accessible tourism. TUR4all is a dynamic platform that will allow users to consult the tourist offer in Portugal and Spain, providing objective and up-to-date information on accessibility at all hotels, monuments and museums, the availability of adapted transport and restaurants with menus in Braille, among other information.
In Portugal the TUR4all platform, which is under development, will be available from next September on a website and mobile app and will make the accessible tourist offer available to all. It will include objective information analysed by specialists in accessibility for all and evaluated and reviewed by users themselves.
In the words of Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism, “this is a platform that meets one of the fundamental principles of Turismo de Portugal’s strategy in Portugal and of the national project “All for All”: making Portugal an accessible destination for all. In an increasingly global society it is imperative to develop inclusive solutions. TUR4all therefore aims to be an important inclusion tool that positions Portugal as a country accessible to all and which will allow its users to enjoy a unique tourism experience”.
The platform aims to allow each person to decide which places they consider the most accessible in view of the special needs they have at a given time and, as a result, to travel and enjoy the best tourism experiences and participate in leisure activities. At TUR4all users will be able to comment on, rate and recommend each of the places and services available, or save them as favourites. They will also be able to communicate with other users who have the same type of interests or specific needs.
According to Mário Vaz, Chairman of the Vodafone Portugal Foundation, “in an undeniably technological world and looking to the future, where autonomy and inclusion are critical premises, it is important that everyone can produce and share knowledge and experiences. TUR4all will undoubtedly be a means for exchanging information and a key resource for accessible tourism”.
Luís Araújo, Chairman of Turismo de Portugal said that “it is important that all operators in the tourism sector adapt and upgrade their tourism offer to the specific needs of those who visit us, from families with small children to seniors or people with some kind of disability, even if only temporary. It is about fulfilling the purpose of equipping Portugal as a tourist destination that knows how to “Welcome Well”, while not overlooking the challenge that an accessible tourist offer for all represents in this economic sector as an excellent business opportunity for companies and for the country. TUR4all is therefore a tool of huge importance that aims to give not only a clear signal of development and citizenship, but above all to provide all those who visit us with a memorable tourism experience”.
According to Ana Garcia, Chair of Accessible Portugal, “we are working hard to upgrade and promote Tourism for All in Portugal. The world is global, the age of tourists is rising and we have to create the conditions for everyone to travel safely and with the quality they need to enjoy their destinations. It is a question of responding to market needs and also a matter of ethics”.
TUR4all will be available in Portuguese, Spanish, French, English, German, Italian and Mandarin.
Website link: www.tur4all.pt (only available from September 2017)
About the Vodafone Portugal Foundation
The Vodafone Portugal Foundation is a not-for-profit institution with its own funds, established to contribute to the development of the Information Society, combat info-exclusion and disseminate mobile telecommunications technologies. Since its creation in 2001, the Foundation has supported projects in areas such as Health, Education, Safety and the Information Society, operating as a key tool of Vodafone Portugal’s Social Responsibility strategy. Rather than simply making a financial contribution, the support provided to projects by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is given in the form of help with specifying partners’ needs, planning, implementing and monitoring projects, and ensuring their effectiveness and success, in all cases in cooperation with outside organisations including NGOs and public bodies.
About Accessible Portugal
Since 2006, ACCESSIBLE PORTUGAL brand has been working to promote Accessible Tourism for All in Portugal. In its recent legal form which is considered to be the most suited to its objectives, this private not-for-profit association is an organisation working for the improvement of the tourism offer and demand, without neglecting any segment of the market due to its specific characteristics. The promotion of Accessible Tourism has significant relevance as the aging of the world population, in particular in the most important source markets, and the established and growing taste for travel, naturally bring about a need to prepare and engage tourist destinations to respond to the associated challenges. These challenges are about quality and safety which customers, who are increasingly demanding and aware of their rights, value.
About Turismo de Portugal
An agency of the Ministry of the Economy, Turismo de Portugal is the National Tourism Authority responsible for promotion, improvement and sustainability of the tourism industry, combining in a single entity all the institutional responsibilities related to the enhancement of tourism, from supply to demand. With its special relationship with other public bodies and economic agents in Portugal and abroad, Turismo de Portugal is committed to fulfilling the aim of strengthening tourism as one of the pillars of growth of the Portuguese economy.