TOURISM FOR ALL: ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION IN BRAZIL – THE CASE OF SOCORRO (SÃO PAULO STATE) TOURISM DESTINATION

The article reflects about the relationship between Accessibility and Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities (PWD) – people with some physical, intellectual or sensory impairments and senior people in the so-called “third age” – through tourism. It reflects on the prospect of tourism development in Brazil for the coming years, based on what Brazilian tourism industry is developing preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The issue of accessibility in mega events takes on an urgent edge. Firstly, the comprehension that PWD has the social right of inclusion. Secondly, the perception they are also tourism segment with high potential growth, as far as there is public infrastructure facilities and tourism industry adaptation for their best care. Or even better, when universal design cater for all levels of disability. The paper analyses the case of Socorro (São Paulo State), a tourist destination that is 130 km far from São Paulo City (capital of São Paulo State). Socorro has been recognized as having multiple initiatives in accessible and inclusive tourism focused on PWD as tourists, public infrastructure and hospitality organizations adapted to this segment. These organizations also search for the economic integration and social inclusion of PWD as employees. The results show that comparing with Brazilian and International accessibility legal requirements and guidelines Socorro can be visualized as a reference destination although it has improvements to enhance. Finally, we make suggestions and encourage a deeper research.
Key-words: accessibility, social inclusion, people with disabilities, Brazilian tourism, tourist destination

TOURISM.pdf download View | Download
Keywords: Accessibility, Brazil, disabilility
Categories: Tourism and its potential as a social force