Toronto, February 25, 2022 - For the tenth time, the German National Tourist Board(GNTB) is providing new ideas on how the international travel industry can meet the growing demand for barrier-free travel by hosting the “Accessible Tourism Day.”
Claudia Müller, Federal Government Coordinator for Maritime Industry & Tourism, and Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for the Interests of People with Disabilities, are going to kick-start the event. Helena Dalli, Member of the European Commission responsible for gender equality issues, presents the new EU strategy “Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030“.
Prominent speakers include Mike Adams (UK), CEO of the Purple” Network” presenting a keynote speech on “Changing the conversation between business and disabled people.” Also included are Christopher Patnoe (UK), Head of Accessibility & Disability Inclusion, EMEA at Google, as well as Josh Loebner (USA), university lecturer, Director of Strategy at the marketing & advertising agency “Designsensory“, and founder of the platform www.advertisinganddisability.com.
The GNTB will focus during the “Accessible Tourism Day“ on best practices for planning barrier-free travel and events, access to tourist facilities and attractions, and the integration of new digital communication channels (augmented, mixed, and virtual reality).
Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the GNTB's Executive Board, says: “Accessibility is a key element in designing high-quality and sustainable tourism. All travelers benefit from the associated service orientation - people with impairments, seniors, or families with children. Our diverse inclusive offering is already making an effective contribution to the socially responsible tourism of the future, and strengthening our position in the international competition. The “Day of Accessible Tourism” is an excellent platform to share the GNTB's know-how on the topic of inclusion, and to network international experts with partners in German tourism.”
The “Accessible Tourism Day” will take place on the so-called “ITB Friday, March 11, 2022, from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm CET (4:30 am to 8:30 am EST). Participation is free of charge. With the registration at www.germany.travel/tdbt participants receive their access information.
The Accessible Tourism Day is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, BMWK (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz). The state committee “Tourism for All” (Länderarbeitskreis „Tourismus für Alle”), the committee “Travel with ease - barrier-free holiday destinations in Germany” (“Leichter Reisen - Barrierefreie Urlaubsziele in Deutschland”) and Messe Berlin support the implementation of the event. The GNTB is responsible for organizing this trade event for the eighth time in a row, following a decision by the German Bundestag.
About the GNTB The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is Germany’s national tourism organisation. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) to represent Germany as a tourist destination and is funded by the Ministry in accordance with a decision taken by the German Bundestag. Working closely with the German travel industry and private-sector partners and trade associations, the GNTB develops strategies and marketing campaigns to promote Germany’s positive image abroad as a tourist destination and to encourage tourists to visit the country.
The GNTB has a three-pronged recovery strategy for overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Raising awareness of the Destination Germany brand and enhancing the brand profile
- Supporting the travel industry, which is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses, through relationship management and the sharing of knowledge
- Developing evidence-based action plans on the basis of targeted market research and ongoing analysis of the impact of coronavirus.
During lockdown, GNTB used countercyclical marketing to maintain dialogue with customers, reflect changing preferences in its communications, and show empathy and provide inspiration.
Focus on digitalisation and sustainability
The GNTB promotes forward-looking and sustainable tourism in line with the objectives of the German government. The focus here is on digitalisation and sustainability. The GNTB is a pioneer when it comes to using immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality), voice assistants and other conversational interfaces, and artificial intelligence applications such as chatbots. To ensure that tourism offerings are visible on AI-based marketing platforms, the GNTB coordinates the German tourism industry’s open-data project, which aims to develop a tourism knowledge graph.
Sustainability has been a core overarching topic for more than a decade and we engage with it as a strategic issue across all areas of the organisation. Our organisation follows a three-pillar strategy that combines the sharing of knowledge with external partners and a supporting communications strategy with our internal sustainability initiative. The GNTB promotes responsible tourism, a key growth area, by showcasing Germany as a sustainable and inclusive destination in the international travel market. This is particularly important as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the global shift in travellers’ values towards greater social and environmental responsibility.
The GNTB has 27 foreign agencies that cover more than 40 markets around the world. Its head office in Frankfurt, Germany, is home to strategic departments such as Business Intelligence, Business Development and Brand Communications for Destination Germany. More information can be found in our online press centre at www.germany.travel.