Reunion Island – a destination for simply everyone

A destination for simply everyone
Focus on

Published on 24 December 2015

Reunion Island is a destination with no tourist limitations
People with disabilities represent around 10% of the world population, or 650 million people. On Reunion Island, several improvements and actions were carried out in the recent past across the transport sector, leisure activities, and accommodation sectors. Persons with reduced mobility (PRM) can benefit from holiday and leisure places accessible to all.

Recently, Ada had its vehicles adapted to facilitate persons with reduced mobility, making them easy to drive and accessible for holders of a B driving permit. Two new vehicles dedicated to PRM now complement the range of the fleet, namely a saloon car and a nine-seater minibus, both adapted to special needs drivers. Whether in the car or minibus, these vehicles are equipped with the latest amenities as well as PRM security options and give comfort and accessibility.

The car for instance has an aluminum ramp assisting access into the vehicle for anyone using a wheelchair. The vehicle includes four regular seats and can accommodate a wheelchair, while the minibus has six regular seats plus three places that can accommodate wheelchairs. It has an elevator platform located at the rear of the vehicle. Car hire firm Ada has a calculator on its website to find out the prices for renting a vehicle suitable for PRM. The rates are discounted depending on the duration of the hire.

For people with disabilities and their family and friends, there are holiday and leisure places accessible to all. On Reunion Island, tourist sites and picnic areas have been specially equipped to accommodate these visitors, such as the:

  • Maison du Parc national in la Plaine-des-Palmistes;
  • Cité du Voclan in Bourg-Murat;
  • Viewpoint of the Pas-de-Bellecombe;
  • Maison de la Forêt in Bébour-Bélouve;
  • Somin Tamarin in Bélouve, a trail about 250 meters long across a deck where a dozen panels and interactive terminals were installed which are accessible to visitors in wheelchairs as well as visually-impaired visitors; 
  • Saga du Rhum in Saint-Pierre, which since 2012 is certified by Tourisme & Handicap and provides access to a PRM trail. Magnetic loops are made available to the hearing impaired. People with hearing loss can also use a visit to French Sign Language (FSL).

Other leisure activities are also available to PMR with supervision from professionals or associations such as paragliding, sailing, beach tiralo or sea kayaking, and hiking joëlette.

Label Tourism & Handicap

The French label, Tourism & Handicap, was created on the initiative of the Tourism Secretariat of State in May 2001. It brings the guarantee that chosen accommodation is suitable for special needs clients and meets the demand of disabled people who want to choose what holiday they prefer.

Today, more than 5,300 sites and accommodation are labeled, but on Reunion Island it is only the Saga du Rhum in Saint-Pierre that has this label for all the four impairments.