Accessible and Inclusive Tourism: The Hotel Industry in Porto – The InterContinental Porto, Palácio das Cardosas


  • Ana Ferreira ESHT, Polytechnic of Porto, Vila do Conde, Portugal
  • Marta Villares CITUR researcher (Center for Tourism Research, Development, and Innovation, Portugal)



Accessible Tourism, Inclusive Tourism, Hospitality, Porto, Special Needs


Porto is internationally renowned for its hospitality. A city that knows how to welcome, a tourist destination that excels in hospitality, according to the opinion of millions of tourists who visit us every year. Tourism, on its side, has become increasingly specialised to respond to a growing demand for unique, sustainable and accessible experiences for everyone. In recent years we have been faced with the demands of different and new markets. According to a study by, 54% of travellers in 2023 will choose to travel as a family, with the aim of reuniting the various members. This multi-generational market is very challenging as it includes different age groups in the same group with different motivations and needs, needs that can be special. In addition, physical and mental disabilities are increasingly present, such as limited or reduced mobility, visual and/or hearing impairments, learning difficulties caused by long-term illnesses, in a general way, target public with specific needs to which the tourist offer must be adapted. These new demand requirements should therefore be considered a central point in the discussion of accessible and inclusive tourism. As the hotel industry is a fundamental pillar of tourism, there is an increasing need to rethink its approach in terms of offer.In this article we will present the Intercontinental Porto - Palácio das Cardosas Hotel as an example of this new way of looking at tourist services, making a significant contribution to affirming Porto as an accessible and inclusive destination.