Travellers with specific mobility needs may be interested to learn that Portugal has been bestowed with the “Accessible Tourist Destination 2019” award by the World Tourism Organisation in partnership with ONCE Foundation.

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Portugal has been bestowed with the “Accessible Tourist Destination 2019” award. Image: Don Farrall/Getty Images

It has become the first country to be granted the title, recognising its efforts to promote tourism accessibility. Making Portugal an accessible country for all has been a priority undertaken by the country’s government. It launched the All for All Programme in 2016 to empower the tourism sector, helping to create and promote accessible itineraries throughout the country to make it an inclusive destination for all travellers.

Portugal has been working towards making its tourism offering accessible. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

There is a market of 90 million travellers with specific mobility needs in Europe, and the award highlights Portugal’s leadership in accessibility for all. As part of the programme it implemented, various initiatives were developed including accessible roadmaps made available at Visit Portugal and good practice guides for the tourism sector. A specific financing line was launched to support accessibility projects in tourism, and 116 projects have received support to date.

Portugal has won an award for accesibble tourism. Image by Disability Images

Besides an “Accessible Beach” Programme, Portugal also launched the “Festivals + Accessible” programme which aims to distinguish events that present accessibility conditions for people with specific needs, including pregnant women, seniors, wheelchair users and visually impaired people.

Two men enjoy the Atlantis Aquarium, Bahamas
Tur4All provides information for people with for people with specific mobility needs. Image: Coolcameragirl/Budget Trave

A web search portal and the app, Tur4All, was also launched, which provides information on hotels, restaurants and cultural offer for people with specific mobility needs in Portugal and Spain. You can check it out here.

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