Who are we?

The aim of inclusive tourism is to provide touristic environments, services and products available without discrimination to people with access difficulties, ensuring respect for their dignity and independence.

The project:
The "Tourism for All in Lebanon: A New Comprehensive approach towards Socio-Economic Development" project was launched in partnership between the Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union and the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) within the EU-funded by Afkar III program, managed by the Office of the Minister of State for Administration Reform.

Although the tourism sector occupies a leading position in the country, the means and mechanisms of inclusion are still missing. As a result, persons with disabilities, or even older persons, are not able to take advantage of it, whether they are tourists, employers or even workers. The lack of inclusion and flexibility in the tourism sector is reflected in:

  • The weakness of the government and the authorities concerned mainly in the application of Law No. 220/2000 on the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • The fragile capacity of stakeholders in the tourism sector to include disability standards, due to lack of resources, tools, skills and control of stereotypical attitudes on the issue of disability
  • The need to empower people with disabilities and organizations concerned with the importance of tourism in promoting socio-economic development.
Tourism: Facts and Figures
Over the past decades, tourism has grown gradually and diversified, becoming one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Tourism, in its current form, is closely linked to development, making it an essential engine for socio-economic progress. The size of the tourism industry is equivalent to, or even surpassed, exports of oil and food products.
In Lebanon, the proportion of people with disabilities is 15 per cent of the population, while the organizations of persons with disabilities depend on the international standard (10 per cent), which is the ratio adopted by the World Health Organization.
While the tourism industry in Lebanon is considered one of the most important pillars of the national economy, people with disabilities are not to benefit from this vital sector due to the absence of comprehensive policies that ensure the adoption of minimum standards of inclusion in an important sector such as tourism.

Project goals:

Enhancing the role of the tourism sector as an important asset for socio-economic development, with a view to adopting a methodology for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Lebanon.

More specifically:

  • To strengthen the national partnership between the responsible bodies in order to develop policies and legislation aimed at adopting a culture of inclusion and to provide all necessary to create leading tourism models in the field of integrated tourism in the various areas targeted by the project.
  • Provide the necessary mechanisms to maintain an inclusive touristic environment by empowering women and men, as well as young people, as active partners in the socio-economic development process in the country.
  • To establish a supportive framework whose main roles are: 
  • Promoting a culture of inclusive tourism by promoting and disseminating it through cooperation with local administrations, municipalities, the private sector, civil society and organizations; 
  • Defining a work map for the implementation of pilot models that can in turn establish inclusive tourism at the regional level.

What is the pilot model?

A tourist-friendly model to receive all people with different needs, spaces and places free from any obstacles. Multi-person services and open employment opportunities that benefits all people, including persons with disabilities. It also establishes a coordination framework with the facilities and actors in development tourism.

  • Target groups
  • Persons with disabilities and their families
  • Local authorities and tourism companies

To achieve the desired results, the project will work with:

  • Policy makers in the public sector (Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Education and Higher Education... Institute of Vocational Education General, Beirut International Airport...).
  • Policy makers in civil society (trade unions, organizations / Shouf Biosphere Reserve, Middle East Airlines, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Trade).
  • Local Authorities: Municipality of Jbeil, Municipality of Baalbeck, and Municipality of Tyre
  • Private sector: Tourism companies, hotels, restaurants, transport agencies and travel

General benefits:

  • Definition and inclusion of a culture of inclusive tourism
  • The diversity of domestic and foreign tourism in cultural and entertainment sites in Lebanon
  • Creating inclusive employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in the Lebanese tourism sector
  • Promote comprehensive socio-economic development and inclusion into target areas
  • Improving Lebanon's tourism image by implementing the criteria of global inclusion in its leading tourist cities to make it a model, which in turn will lead to prosperity of the tourism sector through: - Attracting tourists with different needs (foreign and domestic tourism)

Mutual benefits

  • Enhancing the local role of the targeted areas, which also attracts more tourists with different needs and seeking comfort.
  • In this context, it is necessary to address the inclusion of tourism, and to show its return on the rights of persons with disabilities and the material on the tourism sector, especially that this tourism accounts for 10 percent of the total global tourism traffic.
  • In unstable security conditions, the targeted areas will attract the largest number of tourists (internal tourism), as local residents will always seek entertainment.
  • Raise knowledge and awareness about the concept of disability and the culture of inclusion and diversity.

Other benefits

  • Increase the percentage of profits after targeting a wider segment of customers.
  • Economic development by increasing the percentage of profits.
  • Investment of diverse energies will increase staff productivity
  • Training workshops and specialized capacity building for managers and employees of human resources departments, in addition to specialized training workshops for all employees.

Project Partners

Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union

A non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1981 with disabled persons to promote this category towards access to the legitimate rights set forth in international covenants towards the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities in society. A grassroots organization demands the rights of sectarianism, active along the map of the homeland, and in the Arab world, with the aim of promoting the participation of persons with disabilities in the decision-making process, and transforming the dialogue from the pastoral model to the demand for rights according to the social model. 
Over the past years, LPHU has focused on urging the concerned and influential to implement Law 220/2000 by issuing relevant decrees concerning basic rights, particularly access, decent work, education and learning, the inclusive environment, political and civil rights. The campaign is headed by continuous demands, translated on the ground through projects with specific objectives and time periods that serve the application of the law.

European Network for Accessible Tourism

Is a Belgian non-profit organization, founded in 2008, to promote the right to access and inclusive tourism. ENAT began as an EU-funded project on the "inclusion of disability policies" between 2006 and 2007. The network includes members of regional tourism boards, public and private tourism institutions, tourism specialists, national academic and research institutions and organizations of persons with disabilities, with about 200 members from more than 30 countries around the world.

ENAT assists other organizations seeking to be leaders in the study, promotion and practice of inclusive tourism and access to all by providing leading models in this area.

Its mission is to make European tourism destinations, services and products inclusive and accessible to all people, and to help promote inclusive tourism around the world.