Tourism & Disability certification is a sign of a structure’s reception quality which was created by the Ministry responsible for tourism, and identifies holiday, leisure or cultural facilities offering adaptations to meet the needs of the main disabilities (motor, visual, audio and mental). It is the result of a partnership between the Ministry, sector professionals and associations representing disabled people.
For a disabled tourist, Tourism & Disability certification guarantees an effective and adapted welcome. The logo, placed on all documents and at the entrance to sites, hotels and tourist facilities, provides reliable, standardised and objective information about access to them according to disability (motor, visual, audio and mental) by means of four pictograms.
The Tourism & Disability Association (ATH) is responsible for ensuring the procedure’s national coordination. In operational terms, this national certification is implemented by regional and/or departmental organisations. Today, almost 4,000 sites in France have Tourism & Disability certification. For further information about this certification: www.tourisme-handicaps.org
The certification in Hautes-Pyrénées
Hautes-Pyrénées Tourisme Environnement and the Departmental Committee for Disability Sports are the reference organisations in the department for certification: they support tourism stakeholders in their voluntary certification process.
The offering in Hautes-Pyrénées is large and varied with 52 certified sites, more than half of which cater for four disabilities.
Some examples of certified sites in Hautes-Pyrénées: many hotels, restaurants and gites, Tourist Offices, Lourdes media library, Millaris Museum in Gèdre, the Val d’Azun llamas, the fishing pontoons on the Gave, Tourmalet Botanical Garden, etc. This represents a global and structured tourism offering (accommodation, restaurants, tourism activities) for disabled people.
For further information: « holiday and differences » offerings by Hautes-Pyrénées Tourisme et Environnement
Certification on greenways
This is a voluntary process which starts with an on-site analysis by two specially trained auditors. They assess accessibility for the four main types of disability on the basis of national criteria.
Certification applications are then presented to the regional commission, comprising tourism professionals and associations representing disabled people, which approve or refuse the equipments' certification according to specific situations. Finally, certification is granted by the national commission, in charge of the standardised application of the certificate’s provisions, which approves the regional commission’s proposal. Certification may be granted for 5 years for one, two, three or four disabilities (motor, visual, audio, mental).
The principles of Tourism & Disability certification are formalised by general specifications, with specific criteria for each type of structure.
Greenways are covered by the criteria for walking and hiking paths.
The certification is not just for tourism activities, but also guarantees the greenways’ accessibility for all types of users, leisure activities and travel. The certification’s field of application is as follows:
- quality of paths,
- quality of equipment,
- quality of services,