Teresa Ferreira

Teresa Ferreira

Director, Development and Innovation Department, Turismo de Portugal: National tourism policies and universal accessibility in Portugal


Degree in Sociology
Master's degree in organizational psychology
Working in Turismo de Portugal (the national authority for tourism) since 1998
Director of Development and Innovation Department in Turismo de Portugal


The quality of Portugal as a tourist destination has been recognized worldwide. This is demonstrated by the data relating to tourism performance in 2013, with more than 40 million overnight stays, 14,400 million guests in hotels and an income of 9,200 million Euros from tourism. There have been very positive developments in the foreign market demand, a trend that is continuing in 2014.
As is systematically revealed from the results of annual surveys on tourist satisfaction, this international recognition of Portugal as a tourist destination is based significantly on the good reception and hospitality offered to tourists. It is in the reinforcement of these inherent values of Portugal that the approach ‘Accessibility – Tourism for all’ fits. Also, the most recent data from the European Union show a growing importance in the sector of people with special needs.
Considering this background, the National Tourism Strategy states "make Portugal an accessible destination for all" as a strategic action. It encourages the mobilization of public and private agents in order to structure the accessible tourism offering and provide new service offers. Institutional partnerships, networking between private tourism agents, production of technical tools for agents and the spread of best practices are some of the current implementation methods.
The work has already started and is in development. The identified challenges include organization and providing information about the accessible tourism offering; the acquisition and monitoring of demand flows; the continuous awareness of both public and private tourism agents for the potential growth and positioning of an accessible tourist destination for all.