The GATE is closing, but inclusive tourism is taking off

The final event took place online on 15 December, marking the end of three years of work and study by the Interreg Italy-Austria GATE project, with the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation as the leading agency.

Many projects, one goal

The final event provided an opportunity to assess the achievements of the cross-border cooperation project: “Granting Accessible Tourism for Everyone”.  Initiatives have included the guidelines produced by the University of Innsbruck and the Salzburg Research Centre; the webinars created for the training of operators in the sector, and the FAQ section on the Project website. A special GATE IT-Tool has also been added to the site, which helps you to find useful information about facilities and services in the territory and their relative accessibility. And then there are all those creative solutions that have been designed and put in place in the Project’s four pilot sites over the last three years.

The sites involved

Four sites of natural and cultural interest took part in the inclusive tourism project: the Bletterbach GEOPARC in South Tyrol, the Rossi Park at Santorso (VI), the “Kinderleicht Wandern” project in the Salzburg region and the Sensory Pathway in the Alpago basin (BL).

Each of these sites has tried to develop means by which a greater number of people can enjoy the mountain setting without environmental, physical and linguistic barriers, using solutions that range from virtual reality to multisensory trails.  A hike in the mountains, a walk in a delightful park, a descent into a gorge carved out by a river over millennia… Many people might feel excluded from this sort of tourism. Not just disabled people, but also the elderly or families with small children. This was why the GATE Project was set up: to make tourism increasingly inclusive and allow everyone to enjoy their holiday to the full, even in a place such as the mountains with all its natural obstacles. A trip to the (virtual) site for the GATE project will show you some of the solutions that have been put in place… and which you can experience in person at a later date.