DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The German National Tourist Board has launched a new and comprehensive online database for BarrierFree (accessible) travel, the first of its kind to include a national labelling and “Accessibility Checked” identification seal. Entitled “Travel for All“, the database enables the user 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, showing the location of the item and linking directly to each supplier and the relevant certification.
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, 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 ten percent 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”. Ms. Hedorfer added: “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 e.g. 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.
Mr. Rolf Schrader, Managing Director at DSFT explains: “The ‘Travel for All’ project, developed by us in co-operation with the GNTB and many other partners, is the first to offer nationwide labelling for accessible travel. Our system enables a comprehensive, certified 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”.
Accessible travel for all is a key requirement for the tourism industry in the 21st century and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is continuing to meet this requirement and to expand its accessible tourism offers and services in Germany.