The inclusive tourism website
The GATE project, created to encourage more inclusive tourism, has now been fully operational for some time. The results are available to everyone on our website: gateproject.dolomitiunesco.info, complete with many functions to ensure greater accessibility.
Parks, paths and systems available to everyone
Gate is an Interreg Italy-Austria project, involving various partners: the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation (lead coordinator), the independent L. social cooperative, the Municipality of Santorso (Vicenza), the CAI Alpago, the University of Innsbruck and Salzburg Research. The aim is to facilitate the spread of inclusive tourism, both for its intrinsic value and as a way to promote regional development. It is not just a case of ensuring sites are more accessible, but also making them more user-friendly. Barriers can be not only architectural, but also linguistic or cultural. Various sites are already moving in this direction, including the multimedia guide and virtual reality experiences at the Bletterbach GEOPARC (Aldino, South Tyrol), the multi-sensory guide and interactive reality game at Rossi Park at Santorso (Vicenza) and an accessible trak in Alpago (Belluno).
The website is also more accessible
The website provides, among other things, detailed information about the pilot ventures mentioned above, and was designed to be totally consistent with the spirit and aims of the GATE project. Indeed, the site includes an “accessibility menu” that allows one to activate a series of functions, making content more generally available to users such as the visually impaired. So, one can activate a screen reading function, invert the brightness, or change the type setting and text size. A video shows the aims of the project and the main initiatives in the areas concerned, with help from a sign language interpreter.
Inclusiveness is a real value… and it’s worth it too
Informing and communicating in an inclusive way is perfectly possible: the initial results from the GATE project have proved this, and have also shown how choosing this path can translate into an important boost for tourism. This is not only because it increases the pool of possible users in each area, but also because the innovative technology introduced enhances the appeal for tourists. However, aside from the practical outcome of the project, the fact remains that improving accessibility to UNESCO sites, and in particular the Dolomites, is one of the statutory purposes of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. Indeed, the Foundation is committed to pursuing this aim, and in any case to ensuring that at least as many people as possible can enjoy our common heritage.