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NEW OBJECTIVE: TOURISM WITHOUT BARRIER
Funded by the european territorial cooperation programme
Greece - Italy 2007-2013

NO BARRIER. New objective: tourism without barrier.

On 28th March 2008 an operational programme of cross-border cooperation between Greece and Italy was approved by the European Commission for the programming period 2007-2013.

More specifically, involved areas consist of the Region of Western Greece and the Region of Ionian islands in Greece; the Puglia region with its Provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Lecce in Italy, together with some areas bordering with the Greek and the Puglia region territories, to which 20% of the Programme total budget will be allocated.

The general objective of this programme is to strengthen competitiveness and territorial cohesion in the programme areas with a view to sustainable development, to be achieved by linking the potential on both sides of the cross-border maritime line.

Within such priority 1, the Province of Bari, lead partner, (in partnership with the Region of Western Greece, the Region of Ionian islands, the Province of Lecce, the Municipality of Bari, the Municipality of Nardò, CIRPAS-University of Bari, IPRES-Institute for Economic and Social Research) with the NO BARRIER "New objective: tourism without Barrier" project intends to enhance accessible tourism in involved areas as a fundamental and integral part to re-launch this sector.

 
The goals: information and sharing.
  1. Build and promote research/action interventions, designed to identify and improve national and international case histories and best practices so as to raise awareness about accessibility in cultural tourism operators, as well as in local authorities;
  2. Create a network of long-term relationships between the parties involved, aimed at the adoption of common methods and tools;
  3. Elaborate and test methods to "certify" and promote the accessible areas, through the creation of a system of "labels", shared with the associations of disabled persons;
  4. "Prove" how the culture of accessibility can be transformed in a key strength, an element of excellence that makes the involved territories really competitive, thanks to the improvement of the information services and the creation of "itineraries without barriers", material or immaterial.
  5. Accelerate the process of deseasonalization of the touristic flows, investing on the quality of a culture of inclusion providing for ad hoc tourist package offers.
 
The methode: cultural planning.

The implementation process of N.O.BARRIER is based on the cultural planning method, that is the strategic re-organization of the territorial resources aiming to social cohesion. The N.O. BARRIER partnership, borrowing successful international models, aims to prove how the investment in infrastructures for the accessibility can be profitable both in terms of creation of new economic opportunities and social integration and in terms of improvement of the citizens' quality of life.

The faculty to bestow, strengthen and promote socially shared meanings for interest groups within the social system has a prime importance in the framework of the economic development.

In fact, it is not sufficient to encourage interventions in single fields but it is required to coordinate initiatives within an overall project and, most of all, place each one of them within a more wide cultural perspective.

In this framework, the integrated and coordinated action of the partnership with the strategic development actors (local and national) results being innovative both as regards the creation of areas/opportunities of touristic/cultural enjoyment, and as regards the creation of new types of horizontal and vertical cooperation among tourist, sport, cultural industry enterprises that operate in the social field.

 
Expected NO BARRIER outputs: tools and opportunities.
  1. Publications and editorial products:
    • Itineraries without barriers maps of the accessible areas in both the territories (in Italian, English and Greek language);
    • Guidelines, inclusion for all: collection of successful national and international cases regarding tourism for all; methods and tools used to adopt the offer of services to disabled tourists and to their families;
    • Proceedings of seminars and conferences on social inclusion and equal opportunities.
  2. Digital platforms for the sharing
    • For the sharing of the methods and tools designed, and the monitoring of the territories' accessibility;
  3. Infrastructure interventions
    • Creation of accessible beaches and equipment (road signals) of accessible itineraries.
  4. Labels
    • For the certification and the identification of the areas' accessibility: the partnership will identify and share 7 symbols in order to identify and signpost the accessibility of the areas by persons with motor disabilities, partially sighted/blind persons, partially deaf/deaf persons, persons affected by allergies, persons with psychic disabilities, deaf/blind persons, persons with other impairing pathologies; assignment of the labels to areas and commercial businesses (hotels, restaurants, etc.);
  5. International institutional plan agreements
    • For the adoption of the models that are studied and tested on the territories so as to guarantee equal opportunities of enjoyment by all.
 
Success indicators of NO BARRIER Project.

Final goals of the project:

  • Creation of an environment that favours the expression of everybody's capabilities;
  • Development of inclusion models;
  • Promotion of the economic advantages connected to the tourist accessibility for disabled persons, both as customers and as possible operators;
  • Promotion of the culture of inclusion in the local communities;
  • Highest degree of involvement of the local development actors;
  • Creation of real new holiday opportunities for the disabled persons and their families.

Evaluation and monitoring parameters:

  • Number of the actors involved in the action research and the real contribution provided by them;
  • Number of the participants at the communication events;
  • Customer satisfaction of the first users of the "itineraries without barriers" and of the "equipped beaches" for all, and of the tourist businesses that will adopt the labels system;
  • Number and quality of the tourist packages offered to disabled persons and their families;
  • Representativeness of the plan agreements' subscribers, besides the project partners.