The evolution of Accessible Tourism: from architectural barriers to the quality of the tourist experience

  • Ana Rodrigues Universidade do Algarve
  • Manuela Rosa Universidade do Algarve
  • Efigénio Rebelo Universidade do Algarve


This article aims to analyse cultural and accessible tourism in a progressive and evolutionary perspective.

With this work we intend to verify which are the trends in the segment of cultural and accessible tourism, potentialities, innovative measures, and its tendencies.

For this study, a qualitative methodology was proposed. It is characterised by its descriptive and comprehensive nature in the areas of heritage, culture, and rehabilitation.

Heritage value is one of the elements explored by cultural and accessible tourism. It covers the urban requalification/rehabilitation of historical centres and accessible pedestrian infrastructures. Accessible tourism can also involve the implementation of technological measures, such as ITC (Internet of Things), ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and Big Data. A good fit between destination and accessible tourism has sustainable benefits. UNE-ISO21902 consists of the first global standard on accessible tourism, where best practices for this segment are described.

Cultural and accessible tourism is an enabling segment for the development of heritage destinations. New challenges highlight the importance of sustainability and new technologies. The challenge lies in its planning, the strategies applied and their long-term consequences.

This paper demonstrates the importance and relevance of accessible tourism. It also points out its potentiality for innovation in the technological and/or sustainable sphere. That is, it´s a segment that promotes better quality in other segments.

This study may contribute to the understanding of the potential of cultural and accessible tourism for the development of a destination, and what potentialities are applicable in innovation and sustainability.


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How to Cite
Rodrigues, A., Rosa, M., & Rebelo, E. (2023, November 3). The evolution of Accessible Tourism: from architectural barriers to the quality of the tourist experience. Journal of Tourism and Heritage Research, 6(4), 65-81. Retrieved from