• M. Lormeau

Liège rewarded for the development of touristic accessibility

The Fédération du Tourisme de la Province de Liège calls for an improvement of the city accessibility to people with restrained mobility.

Last December, the Fédération du Tourisme was awarded a Publica prize at the Publica Awards 2020, a Belgian program that rewards the best public projects and initiatives. The initiative "Loisir accessible à tous" ("leisure accessible for all") was selected in the 'Corporate Responsibility' category and rightfully won for its effort to make the Cité Ardente available to everyone.

The Fédération du Tourisme, insists on this issue: Taking into account the carers of people with reduced mobility and people living under the same roof, 43% of the Belgian population is in need for accessibility. For that reason; the accessibility plan focuses on three main points: equip, certify and inform.

Video: © Fédération du Tourisme de Liège

To equip tourist operators and touristic sites properly, the Fédération du Tourisme launched "The Kit d’Accessibilité pour TOUS" ("Kit of accessibility for ALL"), an initiative that offers free check-ups, advise and follow ups on accessibility related structures. The Fédération also helps operators acquire the necessary equipment for their sites (access ramps, call chimes, table-raising devices, braille translations etc...) without incurring excessive costs.

The Fédération also allies its force with Access-I, a non-profit organisation that issues official certifications regarding the level of accessibility of touristic infrastructures (accommodation, attraction, museum, festival, sport related activities…etc). The offers labelled "Access-i" allow access to all information regarding site’s accessibility: criteria are divided through three levels of accessibility and seven categories of people with special needs to allow tailored activities and programs.

Last but not least, in order to reference the accessibility of establishments open to the public and raise awaraness on the issue, the Fédération du Tourisme, has also encouraged people to encode accessibility related data through French collaborative platform Jaccede.com.

Via three “Jaccede Challenges”, (held in September 2018, May 2019 and September 2019) the general public has been asked to reference accessible establishments and help feature their facilities on the platform. Hundreds of places were visited in the cities of Liège, Huy and Verviers, making Belgium the second best referenced country on Jaccede.com, with almost 1,500 visited addresses that were registered.

The Fédération du Tourisme encourages resident, tourists and establishments to continue contributing to the referencing of accessibility, and hope to keep improving and making life a little bit easier for its less mobile visitors.

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