The Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program: a feature on Le Baluchon, Éco-resort

Attractions to discover, February 21, 2022 2022-02-21

The Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program (also known as the PAET), from the ministère du Tourisme and managed by Kéroul, 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. Le Baluchon Eco-resort took part in this program. This feature on how the eco-resort is now more accessible is presented by Événements Attractions Québec and Kéroul.

Baluchon Éco-villégiature
Le Baluchon Eco-resort

Le Baluchon has always been a pioneer

Located less than an hour from Trois-Rivières, Le Baluchon stands on beautiful grounds that cover over 1,000 acres. A forerunner in sustainable tourism, it has been offering the experience of an "eco-resort" for 32 years.

This resort has 35 km of trails in the forest for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding and mountain biking. It also offers numerous equestrian activities as well as swimming, kayaking and canoeing on the Rivière du Loup.

All year round, this resort is a place where you can enjoy activities while being respectful of the environment, the land and heritage and history.

Recognized as a supreme place of relaxation, Le Baluchon proposes a concept that focuses on the experience of its guests. This also includes accessibility, which was already a major concern long before there were regulations and certifications.

Accessibility: a continuous concern throughout renovations

Some of the rooms at the Auberge de la Rivière were already partially accessible, with lift systems and adapted bathrooms. The renovations were an opportunity to go even further by transforming two rooms to be fully accessible.

Le Baluchon, Éco-villégiature
The grounds of the Le Baluchon, Eco-resort
An adapted bathroom at Le Baluchon, Éco-villégiature
An adapted bathroom

"We really appreciated Kéroul's support on this project, because the rooms are communicating, which is a great new feature for us," says Patricia Brouard, assistant general manager. Guests and their assistants or caregivers can have their own privacy while the passage between the rooms facilitates access.

The entrance and vestibule have also been designed to meet accessibility regulations, with automatic door openers. This may seem trivial, even common today, but it is an essential feature for people with reduced mobility.

"The success of the customer experience is in the details," Patricia says. There have also been additional dedicated parking spaces and upgraded dining areas with adapted bathrooms and adjusted door thresholds.

A vacation that everyone will love

The very concept of Le Baluchon is a bit unusual. With its hilly territory, "the site itself is in the middle of nature, it is uneven. Because of our vision, we can't change its morphology," says Patricia, "we are aware that this represents a challenge in terms of accessibility”.

Nevertheless, Le Baluchon offers a superb boardwalk without stairs and with a calculated slope along the river. At the end of the trails, a lookout provides a view of the Trembles waterfalls. "It is a real source of pride to be able to make this view accessible. The site is simply magnificent and we are happy to be able to share it with as many people as possible”.

Le Baluchon, Éco-villégiature
Le Baluchon, Eco-resort

Other members of Événements Attractions Québec have also taken part in the Tourism Establishment Accessibility Program offered by Kéroul. You can read our other articles in this series about the Reford Gardens, the Village du Bûcheron, the Trou de la Fée Cavern and the Ecomuseum Zoo.

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