Tourism Talks Pro
9/30/2015 8:00 PM

On the September 30th, took place in Lisbon, the work session dedicated to architecture and design for all, in the accessible tourism frame – TOURISM TALKS PRO – tourism for all.

This action is integrated in the project “Make Portugal an Accessible Tourism Destination” that Turismo de Portugal has been working on, with several partners’ involvement.

Turismo de Portugal started the debates cycle around tourism, spanning the discussion about new business opportunities, the search tendencies and the challenges placed to the touristic companies and to the destinations, in the development of differentiator products.

The target audience of the session were the companies and entities of tourism sector, among other professionals connected to the touristic infrastructures creation or with impact in the touristic activity.

Porto’s Municipality was invited to participate, in the person of its Ombudswoman of Disabled Citizens Porto Municipality, Arq.ª Lia Ferreira, by functions she exercises and specialized knowledge of the subject under review. This participation was aimed at to share working methods, technical knowledge and dissemination of results already implemented in the city and internationally recognized.

Among the guest participants it was possible to count with representation of Austria, Ireland and Spain (notably the Universal Accessibility and Innovation Department of the ONCE Foundation). In the National outlook, besides Porto’s Municipality, was also present Funchal’s Municipality, Lisbon’s City Council and the Lisbon’s University.

The private sector also gave its input, through the Associação de Hotelaria de Portugal, by its Executive Director, Dr. Cristina Siza Vieira and Eng. Paula Teles CEO of the company Mobilidade e Planeamento do Território (M.pt).

The Architects Professional Association (Ordem dos Arquitectos - OA) was represented by its President Arch. João Santa-Rita, who gave his testimony about the importance of Tourism for Architecture and Vice Versa.

Porto showed the importance of the dynamics between the Municipality and the Universities. It was left clear also that these subjects are taken very seriously by the Municipal services. The Ombudswoman took the moment to show a short video of the city, appealed to the creation of more Ombudspersons in the medium and big municipalities, alerting OA for the need to pressure Architecture Faculties to integrate the Accessibility and Universal Design issues in their teaching programs: - “Architecture arise to serve the need of the common Man and at a certain point it deviated from the path, and stared to serve the beauty ideal of a beautiful ans utopic population. This doesn’t make sense, it’s necessary to return Architecture to the common” (Arch. Lia Ferreira).

In the end of the event, the participants expressed interest and curiosity in visiting the city, that they consider to be booming in these fields.

These debates will take place in several parts of the country and count with several national and international speakers, allowing to contact with good practices from different countries, to know innovative projects at the product and management level and to stimulate networking.​