Information Tools for Cultural Tourism Destinations: Managing Accessibility

Conference Proceedings: ToSEE – Tourism in Southern and Eastern Europe, Vol. 6, pp. 25-37, 2021.
By Ivor Ambrose and Katerina Papamichail:


Purpose – This paper is prepared in connection with the H2020 IMPACTOUR project on “Improving Sustainable Development Policies and Practices to access, diversify and foster Cultural Tourism (CT) in European regions and areas”. It addresses the development of indicators for the management of accessibility in European CT destinations, responding to the growing accessible tourism market as a driver of sustainable tourism strategies.
Methodology – The paper describes the development of tools, indicators and metrics for gathering accessibility information, which DMOs may use as part of the IMPACTOUR CT destination management system. It reports on global and European destination management systems and tools, and describes key requirements for accessibility indicators, namely: 1) Validity, 2) Reliability, 3) Universality, 4) Availability, 5) Scalability and 6) Operability.
Findings – A set of “core indicators” and additional “optional indicators” are selected for initial testing in the IMPACTOUR Destination Pilot Sites in various EU countries. Pilot destinations and representative groups of citizens and visitors will be engaged in testing and validating the accessibility parameters of the tool and demonstrating how tourists with access requirements can be suitably catered for within the overall framework of sustainable destination management.
Contribution – The paper describes the development of information tools supporting CT destinations in managing the demands of the growing accessible tourism market. The use of accessibility indicators in destination management is part of the holistic, data-driven approach promoted by IMPACTOUR, aiming to ensure inclusive cultural tourism for all visitors and citizens in the host communities.
Keywords: Cultural Tourism, Destination Management, Accessibility, Indicators.

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