Memories with Future – Accessibility and Sustainability of Tourism and Heritage in Vale do Côa Region


Acquired knowledge over time, together with the recognized importance of heritage and natural values of the Côa valley region, which allowed it to be classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, justify an effort of convergence of interests and actions in order to promote the creation of conditions of Universal accessibility (that is to people with functional diversity in physical, sensorial and cognitive level), the improvement and the creation of new products and services, the raise of cultural and heritage offer and the internationalization of the history and identity of this territory, promoting an accessible and sustainable tourism.

The influence of climate change on cultural and natural heritage, and more specifically on water resources, must also be considered as a global concern.

These issues lead to increasing needs for new scientific knowledge with an appropriate approach to understanding and addressing the issues of the 21st century Côa River and developing effective management tools to preserve and exploit the potential of the region through several perspectives.

Thus, the major objective of this interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary project is to promote, in a sustainable way, the territory of the Côa river valley, creating conditions for universal accessibility and having as a foundation the exploration and promotion of its cultural, historical, ethnographic and natural tourism potentialities.

In short, a project that encompasses the people and the territory in its totality, making the collective memory persist in an accessible and sustainable way and always having in mind the necessity to maintain water quality that ensure the ecological function of Côa River.

Research Group: Territories and Organisations for Sustainable Development (TOSD)

Sustainable Development Goals:

4. Quality education

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

10. Reduced Inequalities

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

17. Partnerships for Implementing the Goals


Fátima Matos da Silva

(responsible researcher)

Main Objectives

  • To promote sustainable development, universal accessibility and the integrated management of the various heritages;

  • To value, promote and promote the tourism development of the region anchored in indigenous products;

  • To strengthen tourism in general and accessible tourism, in particular, as a relevant vector in promoting the Côa Valley as a tourist destination;

  • To promote the creation of new experiences of cultural and accessible tourism aggregated to the Côa Museum and Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley;

  • To promote the co-responsibility and collaboration of the various public entities, populations, publics with competence in these areas in order to avoid possible dysfunctions in their exercise;

  • To intensify the study of the existing cultural and natural heritage;

  • To improve the protection and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage of the Côa Valley region;

  • To internationalize the memory and identity of this territory, making it sustainable and an example of good practices of universal accessibility.

Project Outputs

Silva, F., Albuquerque, H., Sousa, C., & Borges, l. (2020). Heritage and accessible tourism in the Côa region: A review of ideas and concepts. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tourism Research, Universidad Europea, Valencia, Spain, 27-28 March 2020 (pp. 268-275).

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