The project

The SABER project (“SAntiago, St. BEnedict, Routes Universal”) intends to create an accessible tourism offer by improving facilities and services along two existing itineraries of EU relevance: the “Way of St. James” in Spain, the most popular pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, and the “St. Benedict Way” in Italy, a route linking the most important places related to the life of Saint Benedict from Norcia, the patron saint of Europe. The tourism product proposed will be based both on cultural heritage and on sports/outdoor activities since the two itineraries are routes of spiritual, cultural and historical relevance and they represent an attraction for lovers of hiking and cycling experiences. The tourism product will be designed in order to make the pilgrimage experience “universal” along routes that are part of the common European cultural and natural heritage.

Main objectives

The overall objective of the project is to develop a qualified tourism offer based on the “Tourism for all” principle, along the two pilgrimage routes. It will be reached by the following sub-objectives:

  • to improve awareness, skills and training of both public and private tourism service providers in order to remove physical and environmental barriers and to have people with permanent/temporary impairment enjoy their travelling experience;

  • to develop a diversified transnational tourism offer, based on the “Tourism for All” principle and on a “slow tourism” model, valorizing the tangible and intangible heritage existing along pilgrimage routes of EU relevance;

  • to establish and enhance the cooperation among public/private tourism service providers at local, regional and transnational level, in order to improve the overall quality of the tourism offer, in all segments of the tourism supply chain, and transform each destination in an “accessible environment”;

  • to increase the competitiveness of local service providers and stimulate the creation of new services for different segments of the tourism market;

  • to develop a transnational communication and brand strategy in order to increase the visibility and attractiveness of the tourism product as a travel experience addressed to all people, not only to people with disabilities.

Expected results
  • A complete mapping of all (un)accessible resources (trails, services, facilities, etc.) and barriers existing along the routes in Italy and Spain;

  • Training of public/private tourism service providers;

  • A Chart of Accessible Tourism signed by local private and public stakeholders;

  • Design of an accessible tourism offer and development of adapted destination packages.

Activities dedicated to local stakeholders
  • Training courses on accessible tourism opportunities and accessibility requirements addressed to tourism service providers;
  • Organization of Round Tables with local stakeholders (chambers of commerce, municipalities, local associations, professional associations, SMEs, etc) in order to define a Chart of the Accessible Tourism Offer and an Action Plan for overcoming existing barriers;

Regional Conferences to discuss project activities, exchange best practices and experiences.

The “SA.Ber Universal” project was funded under the Call for proposals “Supporting Competitive and Sustainable Growth in the Tourism Sector” of the COSME EU Programme. “OpenUpRoutes!” is our brand and invitation to make trails and routes more inclusive and universal, thus everyone, with permanent or temporary impairment, can enjoy tourism experiences along cultural and natural routes.