Information Technology & Tourism

, Volume 19, Issue 1–4, pp 29–59 | Cite as

Mobile applications for accessible tourism: overview, challenges and a proposed platform

  • Fernando Reinaldo Ribeiro
  • Arlindo Silva
  • Fernando Barbosa
  • Ana Paula Silva
  • José Carlos Metrôlho
Original Research


In the Travel and Tourism sector, mobile applications could do much more than simply provide information about specific locations or recommend places and itineraries based on the user location. They could leverage a wide range of technologies to be aware of the interests and specific needs of disabled tourists, providing them with appropriate and tailored information. This information should be presented using appropriate interaction mechanisms, able to help this specific, but large, group of the population in their everyday tourist activities, thus contributing to even more accessible tourism and travel activities. We present an overview of mobile applications that, in some perspective, may be used to support people with disabilities in their tourist activities. This overview allows us to explore the key challenges involved and some available alternatives, as well as to identify their positive aspects. However, it also underlines some issues that could be addressed more carefully and extensively in the application ecosystem. We also present some preliminary recommendations for a collaborative and personalized system framework to support people with disabilities in their tourist and travel activities. Ongoing work on a first prototype has already given us valuable insights into the identified challenges and we expect it to be a major step towards a more formal specification of our platform, as well as its development and test.


Accessible tourism Collaboration and sharing Disabled tourists Personalization Preference elicitation Recommendation systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Reinaldo Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Arlindo Silva
    • 1
  • Fernando Barbosa
    • 1
  • Ana Paula Silva
    • 1
  • José Carlos Metrôlho
    • 1
  1. 1.R&D Unit in Digital Services, Applications and ContentPolytechnic Institute of Castelo BrancoCastelo BrancoPortugal

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