Strategies to improve destination accessibility: The Case of Vieira do Minho




This paper makes a critical analysis of the accessibility, especially for people with reduced mobility, of the most relevant tourist resources in the town of Vieira do Minho, a municipality belonging to the district of Braga, located in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The research presented here aims to increase the quality of local tourist attractions, presenting strategies aimed at improving the accessibility of these attractions by people with reduced mobility. It is also intended to answer the following research questions: (1) how accessible are the tourist resources in Vieira do Minho? (2) What are the conditions offered by the various points of tourist interest in the village of Vieira do Minho? (3) What are the barriers that prevent people with reduced mobility from enjoying tourism in this destination? (4) What strategies can be implemented in the various points of tourist interest to enhance accessibility for all people? The methodology used was the structured observation of accessibility conditions in the main cultural spaces, green spaces, gardens, accommodation and restaurants in Vieira do Minho. It is therefore a matter of systematically observing and recording a set of previously established categories. The results of the investigation make it clear that the municipality of Vieira do Minho is on the right path to become, in the near future, a fully accessible destination for people with reduced mobility. Nevertheless, the present investigation detected some gaps, namely in leisure parks, accommodation units, municipal swimming pools, exhibition houses, among others. In order to become a destination of excellence, in terms of accessible tourism, Vieira do Minho will still have to make some improvements to the tourist offer it has, such as installing ramps and elevators, but also improving the quality of the floors in the tourist resources mentioned in this project.