Around 50 per cent of 10 million disabled people across Germany would like to go on holiday preferably in their own country, often in the same place and rarely alone. However, the potential of barrier-free tourism is often underestimated. Barrier-free accessibility is a *major factor in terms of both quality and comfort and is indispensable for 10 per cent of the population, helpful for 40 per cent while everyone finds it comfortable. Senior citizens, pram users and people with temporary mobility impairments benefit from barrier-free services and use them frequently.
Hamburg without borders
Hamburg has noted this potential and has been working intensely on barrier-free tourism for five years. Service providers in Hamburg are offered, for instance, a free check according to the “Reisen für Alle” (Travel for All) system operated across Germany. Often, only small things need to be changed to cater better to certain target groups. The provision of honest and detailed information is important for ensuring optimal travel and not to raise false expectations among visitors.
Several examples of barrier-free access to tourist facilities can be found in Hamburg. Most of the newly opened hotels are now planning more than one room for wheelchair users and are also taking blind or deaf visitors into consideration when planning. All newly built museums and theatres must be barrier-free while older buildings often have to be retrofitted. The number of offers in the German sign language are also rising.
New edition of brochure for wheelchair users
Hamburg Tourismus GmbH aims to offer appropriate services for people with impaired mobility, most of whom are wheelchair users. Thus, more and more offers for this particular target group are emerging. HHT has reissued its 124-page brochure for wheelchair users to coincide with the International Trade Fair for Care Rehabilitation to be held in Düsseldorf from September 23-26, 2020. The brochure offers tips for wheelchair users, tested, detailed information on the accessibility of museums, theatres, churches, parks, hotels and restaurants and presents a total of 136 facilities in Hamburg.
All this is complemented by information on barrier-free public transport and other services, which helps visitors to Hamburg prepare their travel beforehand and locally. The brochure is available at the Tourist Information in Hamburg’s main station, Landungsbrücken and in the Chilehaus. Visitors can also order it from service providers in Hamburg and the brochure will be distributed at all trade fairs attended by HHT. More information on barrier-free tourism in Hamburg in general can be found on: www.barrierefrei-hh.de. If you are interested in accessibility and participation opportunities, please contact Cynthia Wester in the Destination Management department at Hamburg Tourismus GmbH. Her email address is:email@example.com and phone number is 040 – 30051 497.
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