The Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program: a feature on the Trou de la Fée Cavern

The Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program: a feature on the Trou de la Fée Cavern

Attractions to discover, March 15, 2021 2021-03-15

The Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program (also known as the PAET) aims to provide financial support to tourism businesses looking to transform or improve their infrastructures in order to make them accessible to visitors with a disability. The Trou de la Fée Cavern took part in this program and told us how it helped make the attraction more accessible. This feature is produced in partnership with Kéroul and Événements Attractions Québec.

Le parc de la caverne Trou de la Fée
Photo credit: le parc de la caverne Trou de la Fée

The Trou de la Fée Cavern: a spectacular site in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region

The Trou de la Fée Cavern and surrounding park boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Quebec and offers an impressive cave-exploring experience. Visitors can also see the canyon and the Métabetchouane River, stroll along the hiking trails, admire the panoramic view of the canyon from the lookout of the new reception pavilion and zipline across the river.

For Gerry Desmeules, general manager of the Trou de la Fée Cavern, finding ways to accommodate visitors with reduced mobility is essential. Because of his previous position as assistant director of the cerebral palsy association in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, he was already familiar with issues of accessibility and the importance of being aware of specific needs.

Making the site accessible virtually

From the reception pavilion, visitors can take a virtual tour of the canyon and cave through augmented reality glasses. This virtual aspect benefits not only visitors with disabilities, but also older visitors, who may find it difficult to visit these sites.

The accessibility project undertaken by the Trou de la Fée Cavern was therefore unconventional. In fact, the steep configuration makes access to the canyon and cave for visitors with reduced mobility almost impossible. The idea behind the project was to find an innovative way to accommodate them and allow everyone to see all the attractions of the park.

Support from the Kéroul accessibility program

The grant from the Kéroul program made it possible to develop the two virtual tours, the one of the cave and the one of the canyon.

Mr. Desmeules appreciated Kéroul’s open-mindedness toward projects that are outside the box: "When we think of accessibility, we usually think of ramps and wheelchair-adapted bathrooms, but other improvements also make the site more accessible and can be beneficial for a wider range of visitors, including people who use wheelchairs as well as older people.”

An attraction to discover again or for the first time

In addition to its many outdoor activities, the Trou de la Fée Cavern features a new, accessible, immersive show, ÉCHO, the memory of stones, presented in an amphitheatre 7 metres tall and 16 metres in diameter carved right into the Canadian Shield. This 360-degree projection with sound effects, lights and even a vibrating floor, showcases the major events that took place on site.

A complementary feature to the show is a timeline that looks into those events in greater detail and that can be viewed from an accessible workstation.

le parc de la caverne du Trou de la Fée
Photo credit: le parc de la caverne du Trou de la Fée

Other members of Événements Attractions Québec have also taken part in the Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program offered by Kéroul. You can also read our article about the Reford Gardens, our article about the Village du Bûcheron and our article about the Ecomuseum Zoo.

In partnership with logo Kéroul

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