In this article, the authors seek to understand if improvement to the conditions of universal accessibility on the Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago was one of the factors that contributed to the development of this Way and consequently the increase of pilgrims.
To this end, an evolutionary analysis of the number of pilgrims was carried out, which involved a study of the universal accessibility of the Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago and its religious heritage in the municipality of Porto. An analysis was also undertaken of the guiding and explanatory signage and the elements of innovation introduced, as well as the information from websites and digital applications, resulting from technological innovation implemented by various institutions associated with this route. In methodological terms, a critical review of the existing literature and its contextualisation was carried out. 17 religious places were selected in the municipality of Porto, and intensive research was developed, filling in accessibility diagnostic forms that studied in detail the accessibility conditions of each of these spaces. a study of the virtual accessibility of a sample of websites of institutions related to the Portuguese Coastal Way was also conducted. Comparative studies from May 2019 and December 2021, proved to be quite interesting and a valuable aid in the evolutionary characterisation and benchmarking of possible improvements implemented.
Analysis of the results provided quantifiable data that prove the initial hypothesis, leading to the conclusion that, among other factors, universal accessibility solutions and the innovations implemented, regarding the Portuguese Coastal Way, have had a very positive impact, resulting in an exponential increase in pilgrims and tourists along the way, reinforcing the sustainability of the regions.
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de Silva, Fátima Matos; Borges, Isabel; and Arreiol, Marta
"Universal Accessibility on the Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago in Porto Municipality,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
5, Article 11.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol11/iss5/11