By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has long been a champion of inclusivity. Now, courtesy of increased investment in its ‘Tourism For All’ campaign, the country has ramped up the available amenities for travellers in need of special care and attention. When it comes to barrier-free travel options, Germany’s commitment cannot be questioned.
Germany has already made significant investment, consulting with experts to ensure its leisure and tourism facilities are fully inclusive to all visitors, irrespective of physical or educational challenges. Now, visitors with reduced mobility can find a whole range of new options at their disposal. From accessible accommodation to outstanding leisure options, a whole variety of places offer step-free, convenient access, as well as plentiful space.
Yamina Sofo, Director at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), emphasised the country’s dedication to accessibility. “By working closely with policymakers, accommodation providers, and site managers, Germany has implemented various changes, such as building ramps at historical sites, providing braille and audio descriptive text, and creating special parking and aided bathrooms,” she said. “These revisions have made a vast range of activities accessible to visitors who previously may not have felt able or at least comfortable.”
The ‘Tourism For All’ initiative caters to seven types of visitors, including those with reduced mobility, wheelchair users, impaired hearing, visual impairments, blindness, and learning difficulties. The website offers further information for guests with allergies and allows them to search for activities based on their interests or the areas they plan to visit.
Travellers seeking barrier-free experiences now have several options across Germany, all of which are accessibility certified. Imagine a place where sand, sea, and salty breezes combine with heritage – that’s what you can expect in Lower Saxony’s picturesque coastal strip that also serves as the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Wadden Sea National Park. Barrier-free tours of nearby Uslar City also promise access to a low mountain range with wide, mixed forests and gentle hills. In southwestern Germany meanwhile, the Feldberg cable car that offers views of the Swiss Alps also provides wheelchair access, as does the Emden Art Gallery, which regularly hosts exhibitions by famous artists and caters to visitors with hearing or visual impairment.
Furthermore, guests with special requirements can enjoy easy access at attractions in Heidelberg and Stuttgart; Museum Island, Charlottenburg Palace, and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin; and Bremen’s science-driven Universum, among others. Bremen also has a state portal listing the accessibility options: https://www.bremen.de/barrierefrei/stadtfuehrer#/.
Germany’s accessible tourism options are diverse and abundant, providing visitors with memorable experiences across the country. To explore more options, interested travellers are encouraged to visit the website (https://www.germany.travel/en/accessible-germany/accessible-travel.html) for further details on Germany’s inclusive and welcoming attractions.