Tourism for all in the Baix Empordà

The new Tourism for All In the Baix Empordà publication cover. In a fine sand beach, a lifeguard carries a woman to the water in an amphibious chair.

In a previous article, we introduced that the Baix Empordà Regional Council has been promoting the Baix Empordà Tourist Accessibility Plan since 2017. It aims at pointing out the value of the region as an accessible tourist destination and to bring on a new qualitative and distinguishing attribute in the tourist competitiveness offered in the Baix Empordà.

Three years after the project started, a new brochure on tourism for all has been published, which includes 25 resources among tourist offices, campsites, museums, routes and accessible historical sites. All of them have beenvalidated by a company specialised in tourist accessibility. The initiative meets the will of companies and tourism organisations in the region, both public and private, to offer services and facilities more and more adapted and for everyone.

The brochure includes an accessible map whereon the different resources are distributed for people with visual disabilities, who can identify the needs that each service or activity meet through a system of pictograms. In this way, special needs for people with visual disabilities or hearing impairment, wheelchair users, people with reduced mobility and families are highlighted.

Representation of the different pictograms used in the brochure for determining the accessibility in each service and/or activity that is offered.
Representation of the different pictograms used in the brochure for determining the accessibility in each service and/or activity that is offered.

Accessible services and activities

Among the accommodations that the leaflet includes, the Càmping Valldaro, the Hotel Can Miquel, the Hotel Les Illes and the Hotel Planamar should be pointed out. These four lodgings are adapted for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties. Moreover, the Hotel Ilunion Caleta Park is accessible for people with visual disabilities or hearing impairment.

In relation to tourist offices, offices in Castell-Platja d’Arol’EstartitPalafrugellPalamósSant Feliu de Guíxols and Santa Cristina d’Aro are adapted for wheelchair users and, mostly, for people with reduced mobility and families. Furthermore, the Calonge i Sant Antoni’s tourist office has services for people with visual disabilities.

Regarding museums and centres of interest, the Museu de la Joguina, the Museu de la Mediterrània, the Museu del Suro, the Museu d’Història de Sant Feliu de Guíxols and the Terracotta Museu are adapted for wheelchair users. The Museu de la Pesca is also accessible for people with visual disabilities and hearing impairment. The Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya – Ullastret has services for hearing-impaired people too.

In Ullastret site, a man with a hearing aid attentively observes a descriptive video of the site through his mobile phone. On the screen, there are subtitles and a sign language interpreter. Picture of the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya – Ullastret (@INMEDIA)
In Ullastret site, a man with a hearing aid attentively observes a descriptive video of the site through his mobile phone. On the screen, there are subtitles and a sign language interpreter. Picture of the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya – Ullastret (@INMEDIA)

Concerning the beachesl’Estartit beach and Platja d’Aro main beach should be highlighted. Both are adapted for wheelchair users, people with reduced mobility and families. The Torre Valentina beach in Sant Antoni de Calonge has also informative panels for people with visual disabilities.

The brochure includes a route through the old town of Pals and another one through the old town of Peratallada. Both are adapted for people with mobility difficulties. They are also accessible for people with visual disabilities thanks to the Braille panels that are displayed along the routes.

Finally, the brochure points out the ancient narrow-gauge railway route Girona – Sant Feliu de Guíxols. It is almost a 40 km greenway walk that follows the route of the old train which is accessible for wheelchair users, people with reduced mobility and families thanks to its coarse sand compacted pavement.

A boy and a girl drive a handbike through a greenway stretch. Alongside the path, on the grass, some yellow flowers flourish. Pere Duran’s picture.
A boy and a girl drive a handbike through a greenway stretch. Alongside the path, on the grass, some yellow flowers flourish. Pere Duran’s picture.

The new brochure on tourism for all is published in four languages (Catalan, Spanish, English, and French) and 8.000 copies have been printed. Additionally, it can be consulted online.

More projects in 2020

In addition to presenting the new leaflet, the Regional Council Tourism area has planned other projects in 2020. During November, a new regional tourist accessible website will be launched. Moreover, some car routes, although they have been promoted for a while, will be accessible: people will be able to consult them with audio-description, subtitles and interpreted in sing language.

Furthermore, there is a will to create an accessible board with the most representative organisations in Girona in order to establish a bond with entities that have been working in accessibility issues for a while, such as MIFAS Girona, which has assessed them from the beginning.