Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Two-year inclusive tourism project for tourist sites

The Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union (LPHU), founded in 1981, is an advocacy organization for people with disabilities in the capital city of Beirut. Together with the European Network of Accessible Tourism (ENAT), a non-profit association of tourism organizations located in Brussels, Belgium, LPHU started the Inclusive Tourism Project in 2016 – a two-year initiative incorporating accessibility and inclusion standards into four famous touristic sites in Lebanon. This includes such accessibility measures as creating ramps and providing brail and audio support for persons with various disabilities

“The accommodation of the public beach tent in Tyre gave me the opportunity to enjoy my favourite sport again, swimming, independently!”

SouheilAn amputee and Inclusive Tourism Project beneficiary
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Two-year inclusive tourism project for tourist sites
Organisation:Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union
Country
of Implementation
Lebanon

FACTS & FIGURES

  • As a result of the project, 80 people with disabilities have received jobs or have received support for self-employment within the tourism industry.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Lebanon’s tourism sector still does not comply with standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities because many decision makers within the tourism sector have not yet recognized the importance of doing so.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The Inclusive Tourism Project improves accessibility and inclusion standards at four popular tourist sites: The Old Market of Byblos City, the beach of Tyr, the Shouf Biosphere Reserve and guest house, and the historic fort of Baalbek. The project consists of a combination of architectural modules, training workshops for staff, and technical consultations to integrate accessibility on the sites. Actions include building ramps, improving access, and creating brail and audio support for persons with various disabilities.
A man using a blow-torch at a work bench.Another objective of the project is to allow persons with disabilities to participate as employees and business entrepreneurs. Persons with disabilities were offered assessment sessions and were then supported by intensive, rapid vocational training to prepare them to enter the tourism labour force. This resulted in 50 people receiving jobs with tourism companies and 30 securing material support for launching self-employment projects in the field of tourism, such as establishing beach kiosks for selling food and drinks in the above-mentioned sites.
The project’s first year has had a positive impact on the commitment of public and private-sector stakeholders towards supporting the adoption of an inclusive tourism policy, and has resulted in the endorsement of the Beirut Declaration as the first national document on inclusive tourism in Lebanon.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

The project is in the process of being replicated by the Ministry of Tourism in Lebanon. Consultations with LPHU are taking place to benefit from the project’s modules and strategies for adopting inclusive tourism standards in Two men with physical disabilities walking on a wooden platform on a sandy ground to reach the sea.other regions around the country, starting with the renovation of other sites in the ancient city of Baalbek.
The Inclusive Tourism Project is funded by civil society (founders, friends, grants, crowd funding, etc.) and within the framework of the AFKAR 3 programme – an EU-funded programme working on defining a strategy for dialogue and cooperation between the public sector and civil society to improve the protection of human rights.
All produced modules, training workshops, and technical consultations are currently offered for free, and LPHU is evaluating strategies to make the project self-sustainable soon.
FACTSHEET

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