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Sep
26
2019

Portugal awarded Accessible Tourist Destination

Portugal river and city landscape

Tourists flock to Portugal throughout the year for their sandy beaches, clear blue seas and interesting towns that make it the ideal destination for a singles holiday for over 60s. Even more so now that the country has been awarded the Accessible Tourist Destination 2019 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with ONCE Foundation.

Portugal is the first country to be awarded this title, that recognises the country’s efforts to promote tourism accessibility. Travel Daily reports that the award is a result of the efforts made by the Portuguese government, who launched the All for All Programme in 2016. The initiative aimed to “empower the tourism sector, helping to create accessible itineraries throughout the country, promoting accessibility offerings, and encouraging the country to be an inclusive destination for all.”

As part of the effort to increase the country’s accessibility, good practice guides for the tourism sector were introduced as well as accessible roadmaps made available at Visit Portugal. A website, titled Tur4all for people who want to visit Portugal but struggle with limited mobility was also launched to help people discover attractions they can visit with ease as well as find advice on using the public transport.

Lonely Planet reports that there is a market of 90 million travellers with specific mobility needs in Europe and that Portugal’s award proves they are a leader in accessibility for all.

Ana Mendes Godinho, the secretary of state for tourism in Portugal, tells Travel Daily: “Accessible tourism is a matter of citizenship and also an important segment in world tourism. While much remains to be done, we hope to continue being a world leader in this category.”

Ana Sofia Antunes, secretary of state for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Portugal also comments to Travel Daily: “This is the recognition of a solid and structured work that Portugal has been doing in terms of promoting more and better accessibility for all. The recently developed More Access Programme will support accessibility promotion projects in about 50 municipalities amounting to EUR 15 million (USD 16.59 million).”

If you struggle with low mobility, or you just want to see some beautiful scenery, then browse our holidays to Portugal and enjoy a relaxing break in the sun.