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Madalena ,  October 26, 2018

Regional Government promotes integration of Inclusive Tourism policies into PEMTA

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stressed that the Regional Government is working on the integration of Sustainability policies into PEMTA - Strategic and Marketing Plan of the Azores Tourism in the social component. This goal will be achieved through "the relation between the local community and tourists, and the promotion of social inclusion by defining guidelines for the integration of inclusive Tourism Policies" in partnership with the Institute for Tourism Planning and Development.
Marta Guerreiro spoke at the opening session of the 3rd Entrepreneurship Forum on Accessible and Social Tourism. On the occasion, she mentioned that the Regional Government "is preparing an Inclusive Tourism Programme to be implemented already in 2019" with the aim of promoting "equal opportunities in the low and mid seasons." The project is jointly developed with the Regional Secretariat for Social Solidarity.
"Promoting and ensuring equal opportunities for all, regardless of their limitations and vulnerabilities, has been and will remain a priority for the Azorean Government in the pursuance of public policies that make the Azores Destination an international reference at all levels," said the government official.
The Secretary for Tourism mentioned some actions carried out by the Regional Government in a more "intensive manner," namely the sustainable destination certification process. Apart from raising discussions on the theme, it will become "a reality in the everyday life of each one of us."
Based on the three pillars of sustainable environmental, economic and social development, the Regional Secretary alluded to measures concerning the "access of all citizens to tourist sites, whether environmental or cultural, which should be accessible to all through innovative solutions. They are intended to render these places accessible to people with reduced mobility."
According to the government official, accessible tourism "should not be limited to infrastructures." In fact, it should be also visible in "employment opportunities within the sector itself, while generating more wealth that needs to be distributed by all those who play an active role in this activity."
"We have been working on another criterion concerning the possibility of access to local, that is, making tourist points of interest not only attractive to tourists bur also to locals," said the government official.
Marta Guerreiro reinforced the efforts undertaken in this area through a "strategy to which the Government has awarded priority status, as far as concerns the encouragement of local visitors. This has been accomplished by means of exempting or reducing admission fees to points of tourist interest, such as all the regional Environmental Centres, Caldeira Velha Natural Monument, Vila Franca do Campo islet, Praia islet on Graciosa, Capelinhos Volcano, Caldeira do Faial or the ascents to Pico Mountain."
The Secretary for Tourism also highlighted the "My Azores, My Love" programme. Since 2014, it has "provided thousands of Azorean residents over 60 years of age with the possibility of travelling to any island in the archipelago. The initiative encourages domestic tourism and the socialisation among Azoreans from all islands, thus reinforcing social and cultural ties."
The Regional Secretary also stressed that "the regional and national legislation on universal accessibility (establishments, facilities and equipment), implemented long ago, has provided for the creation of conditions for tourists with reduced mobility in infrastructures and services related to tourism as well as in the restaurant sector. In this regard, the Regional Government wants to accomplish "more" by "promoting good practices" and acknowledging that it is "important to encourage the sector's agents, namely tourism activity companies, to acquire vehicles with equipment for people with disabilities. These measures will stimulate the innovation and diversification of the tourism offer."
"The creation of accessible tourist itineraries on all islands as well as the accessibility to monuments, museums, transport and tourist offices will be essential elements to promote the Azores as an increasingly inclusive destination," added the government official.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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