Published on : Saturday, September 27, 2014
The German National Tourist Office will use World Travel Market WTM 2014 to promote accessible and sustainable tourism, alongside celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, its main focus for next year.
Accessible tourism is referred to by the German authorities as “without barriers”.
In May this year the GNTO updated its dedicated website for travellers with reduced mobility, impaired hearing or impaired vision.
GNTO works with the major German transport providers to help provide a one-stop shop for people with special travel needs.
National airline Lufthansa, train operator Deutsche Bahn and ferry service DFDS all provide dedicated information through the .
Similarly, the dedicated website highlights destinations and attractions which are accessible.
These range from selected Bundesliga football stadiums to museums and galleries.
A number of specialist UK tour operators are also highlighted on the site, including The Disabled Holiday Directory, Enable Holidays and Tourism For All. Meanwhile, sustainable tourism is also a key pillar of the country’s tourism strategy.
The GNTO sees sustainable tourism in terms of social, ecological and economic impacts.
For example, the country has a Viabono grading for hotels, with specific designations for hotels which excel in terms of carbon neutral stays (“Climate”) or using organic foods and green energy sources (“Bio”).
Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the many energy-efficient transport options, from hiring licensed electric cars to using motorised bicycles within city environments. Visitors can also buy carbon offset certificates to ensure that their overall trip is carbon neutral.
As well as the barrier-free initiative for accessible travel, Germany’s tourist authorities reflect the government’s approach towards inclusivity, in terms of personal freedoms and the protection of minorities.