In a move to promote accessible tourism, German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has launched an online database for BarrierFree (accessible) travel, the first of its kind to include an ‘Accessibility Checked’ identification seal.
The database ‘Travel for All’ enables users to search for a wide range of accessible holiday facilities throughout Germany including accommodation, restaurants, activities, shopping centres and essential services such as accessible transport and local tourism offices. It includes an online map that shows the location of the item and links directly to each supplier and the relevant certification. Detailed information about BarrierFree travel in Germany can be accessed via www.germany.travel. The ‘Travel for All’ project has been funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; it was developed by the German Seminar for Tourism (DSFT) in co-operation with the Tourism for All Germany (NatKo) organisation and co-ordinated with a wide variety of tourism partners.
Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of GNTB’s board of directors, said, “BarrierFree tourism services are indispensable for about 10 per cent of visitors to Germany. We are launching our new database with over 1,500 fully certified BarrierFree service providers currently included and this information will be expanded on an ongoing basis. The database is highly useful for both consumers and tour operators. It is an aid not only to the actual travel planning but also researching for example, activities or accommodation from a trusted source that provides up-to-date information from certified partners in BarrierFree travel.”
Each company included in the database is documented by trained researchers and evaluated using clear quality control criteria. Detailed information about each listed entry can be viewed by the guests – providing more transparency and reliability – and which bear the ‘Accessibility Checked’ seal.
Rolf Schrader, Managing Director, DSFT explains, “The ‘Travel for All’ project developed in co-operation with GNTB and other partners is the first to offer nationwide labelling for accessible travel. Our system enables a comprehensive database for BarrierFree tourism over a wide cross-section of accessible tourism service providers; in addition, these companies can be directly involved in their certification process. The interest to date has been tremendous.”