The Domain of the Caves of Han is the largest natural tourist attraction in Belgium. The Caves of Han deserve 3 stars in the Michelin Guide, which is a token of international celebrity.
There are several activities : the Caves, the Wildlife Reserve, and other activities such as the PrehistoHan. And of course restaurants, a large playground etc.
The Domain of the Caves of Han is an important employer, employing directly 52 full time equivalents. There are 20 permanent employees, but in july and august the total staff, including students, can climb up to 100 or 120. You also have the indirect employment generated in Han-sur-Lesse and in the region.
This is an idea we have had since many years and it is a challenge. Inviting persons with limited mobility, and in particular persons in rolling chairs, to visit the Caves, this is something very exciting.
We have been thinking about this for a long time because we are a tourist destination for families, for the large public, and in the large public, there are persons with a handicap. We have thought : let us try and make an effort to welcome these persons and to allow them to discover the underground world, and so we have made some arrangements in the Caves to make them accessible. We have made arrangements in all our infrastructures, even the playground is accessible to children with limited mobility.
There are two different types of visits for persons with limited mobility : group visits with prior reservation. In this case, there is no problem, there is a specific traject in the Caves ; for the Wildlife Reserve, we use a specially adapted trailer. The group reserves the visit and we organise the program in function of the group’s wishes.
For individuals, we have programmed two days a month, one Saturday and one Wednesday per month, in which we regroup individuals or members of small institutions, not large enough to constitute a groupe of 20 people. Individuals cannot freely access the Domain outside these special visits, since this requires a whole organisations, the visits are tailor-made. The visits for persons with limited mobility are organised two days per month : the 1st Saturday and the 3d Wednesday of the month.
We are very happy to receive this Cap 48 award. Firstly, this has been for us an important project, with heavy investments, though partly subsidized. And also, this award is a recognition : we can be proud of this project, we are able to offer visits for persons with limited mobility. The Caves are an extraordinary jewel of nature, I have personally accompanied visits with children in rolling chairs, and it is a real present to see their eyes full of wonder, when they discover these beautiful Caves, which until now were not accessible to them.