Germany has long offered accessible holidays to cities and any number of other destinations and events but it may come as a surprise to you to find that you can also pursue sporting and leisure activities that enable disabled people to take on challenges that they may never have thought possible. ‘Feeling fearless?’ is a new programme of accessible holiday activities designed to encourage disabled people with a taste for adventure to do something different on their next holiday.
The various activities on offer include accessible skiing, cycling for the blind, white water rafting and even jet skiing. The German National Tourist Office for UK and Ireland (GNTO) has brought together the various ‘Feeling Fearless’ ideas as its latest addition to the barrier free pages on its website where disabled people can start to make a selection from a generous roster of incredible experiences, whilst gaining further insight and information regarding how each activity is appropriately adapted.
There are opportunities to experience activities all over Germany and in 2016 the GNTO’s accessible travel website has two new destination partners: the state of Lower Saxony and Thuringia, which as in other regions of Germany, are able to offer accessible holiday opportunities for anyone interested in nature, culture, good food and a warm local welcome.
The GNTO launched its ‘Barrier Free’ (accessible) travel website and multi-media campaign in 2012 and since then, it has gone from strength to strength as more and more destinations (and within them, hotels, attractions and other businesses) have made a shift towards inclusive offerings for people travelling to Germany. Indeed, overall, Germany has just recorded its sixth annual record breaking increase for incoming tourism in a row and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Barrier Free not only focuses on enabling disabled people to experience the best of Germany’s tourism offerings but it does so in an inclusive manner. If there’s something special about Barrier Free it’s that the divisions between disabled people and their non-disabled family and friends are suspended – it’s just about enjoying the moment, having a great experience and creating memories to last a lifetime.
Director of the GNTO UK and Ireland, Klaus Lohmann, commented on what Barrier Free means, saying: “Accessible travel in Germany is known as ‘Barrier Free’ – this means we are trying to make holidays in Germany free of the restrictions, obstructions, or barriers to enjoyment in as many ways as possible. Our new webpage is designed to open up ideas for what you can do – not what you can’t – whether it’s cycling, tackling a climbing rope course in a forest, or skiing.”