1. What is NOBARRIER?

NOBARRIER is the acronym for (New Objective: tourism without barrier) a project funded within the Greece – Italy 2007 - 2013 Programme (Axis III measure 3.3). The project is aimed at implementing a consistent set of interventions to reduce barriers that do not allow disabled people to fully enjoy territories. The project action will focus on both physical-material barriers and on intangible barriers, namely all cultural and social hurdles turning disabled tourists away from tourist fruition: information, communication, services, etc, as well as the creation of accessible tourist itineraries. The final aim is the creation of tourist packages for both individuals and tour operators, with a consequent deseasonalisation and implementation of tourist flows. The project partners are: the Metropolitan City of Bari, the Province of Lecce, the Region of Ionian Islands (Greece), the Region of Western Greece (Gr), the Municipality of Bari, IPRES, University of Bari – CIRPAS, the Municipality of Nardò (Le).   

2. How does the project interact with the territory?

The project is closely bound to its territory and to interaction with citizens. The realization of NO BARRIER is based on the cultural planning method, consisting in strategically recomposing territorial resources for the purposes of social cohesion. The partnership, in fact, firmly believes that encouraging interventions and stimulating single sectors is not sufficient; rather, it is necessary to coordinate initiatives in an overall and inclusive project and, above all, place them in a meaningful cultural perspective. In this view, the integrated and joint action of the partnership with strategic (local and national) actors of development proves innovative, in terms of the creation of both spaces/opportunities for tourist/cultural use (as tools of economic development and social integration) and of new forms of horizontal and vertical cooperation between tourist and culture industry companies, cultural, sports and social associations. Such methodology, therefore, implies a context innovation; changes in the sector of tourism for all are addressed from different points of view: market and its potential, structures, reference social groups, as well as historic-cultural heritage, revisited and revitalized with the contribution of proper itineraries.

3. How were itineraries identified?

One of the project outputs is “proving” that the removal of material and immaterial barriers is feasible and economically and socially cheap, as it is achieved through some structural interventions such as equipping a beach accessible, improving information services for disabled people, producing tools ("itineraries without barriers") and spreading them in order to promote accessible locations. Therefore, since the planning phase, the identification of “accessible” itineraries has been devised. Such identification was preceded by a methodology allowing to apply common “standards” to all the involved territories. More specifically, the various disabilities were identified with the aim to classify them in a more homogeneous way. The starting point was the WHO “ICF” classification (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) that, together with a rigorous scientific programme (see the “methodology” section), led to the identification of three main areas:

  1. area of phycho-motor disabilities
  2. area of sensory disabilities
  3. area of cognitive and intellectual disabilities           

Identified itineraries followed such division, as it is evident that disabilities present in the macro-areas have different needs and requirements and the approach used for the identification of itineraries has been, of course, different.

Identified itineraries have been included in the project website. The graphic identification of the itinerary also signals the presence of points for medical, paramedical and pharmaceutical aid nearby the itinerary (i.e. pharmacies, rehabilitation centres, hospitals, emergency rooms, dialysis centres, anti-allergies centres, etc.). Therefore, itineraries include information of this kind:

  • tourist
  • historic
  • artistic
  • socio-medical
  • medical 

4. What are labels?

Labels are forms of identification that are attributed to shops and accommodation facilities meeting the requirements established by the project to receive people with disabilities.

5. What does the attribution of labels imply?

Hotels/shops or other structures being attributed labels are signalled (both graphically and by showing their full address and services) on the project website. Besides this, it is obvious that all communication actions will indicate the presence of “labelled” structures. Labelled structures shall not cope with any burden except for the obligation to show the label at its entrance. Labelled structures shall not carry any financial burden.

6. Is there any financing for private individuals?

No incentives, of any form, are envisaged for private individuals. However, structures to which labels are attributed may increase their “visibility” through planned communication actions.  

7. Which advantages may a tourist company derive from the attribution of a label?

The project includes actions to be realized through national and international tour operators. Obviously, not only itineraries but also structures receiving labels will be promoted. Moreover, the attribution of labels allows to open up to tourist market sectors that have not been fully exploited by the southern tourist market yet. This may also lead to the deseasonalization of tourist flows, with subsequent positive repercussions for tourist industry companies.

Metropolitan City of Bari, formerly Province of BariProvince of LecceMunicipality of BariMunicipality of NardòRegion of Western GreeceRegion of Ionian IslandsCIRPAS - University of Bari “Aldo Moro”IPRES - Apulian Institute for Economic and Social Research