Barrier-free Tourism Day
on 10 March 2017 at the ITB in Berlin

The sixth Barrier-free Tourism Day took place from 10.30am to around 3pm on Friday, 10 March 2017 at the ITB travel fair in Berlin.
The main topic of the event was product design and targeted communication.
In panel discussions and talks, experts focussed on the relevant issues from various different perspectives. A wide range of real-life examples were presented that demonstrated how to develop and market barrier-free products and services.

Barrier-free traveling has increasingly become an indicator of quality for tourism services and a competitive advantage for destinations. Currently, about 140 million people with different requirements on accessibility live in the European Union (Source: GfK). Due to the demographic change, their number will rise significantly in future. This key task facing the tourism industry was a feature of the Barrier-free tourism day.

At this, 6th „Barrier-free Tourism Day“, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and its cooperation partner “Tourism for All Germany – NatKo” welcomed about 200 visitors, including representatives from the world of politics as well as from the international travel industry, experts, universities and journalists.

The event was financed by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy based on a decision of the German Bundestag.

The association "Barrier-free Destinations in Germany” and the interstate working group “Tourism for All” of the Federal States of Germany and the Messe Berlin supported the event.

Barrier-free Tourism Day on 10 March 2017 at the ITB in Berlin


Daniela Wiesler-Schnalke, DW Akademie, Head of Media Training


Olaf Schlieper, German National Tourist Board, Innovations Manager


Iris Gleicke, Member of the German Parliament, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Government Commissioner for SMEs, Tourism and the New Federal States


Antti Peltomäki, European Commission, Deputy Director General of the Directorate-General for Internal Market and Entrepreneurship

Panel discussion


Martin Heng, Lonely Planet, Accessible Travel Manager & Editorial Adviser

Volker Langguth-Wasem, Federal Chairman of the BAG SELBSTHILFE (The German Association of Self-Help Groups)

Ross Calladine, VisitEngland, Head of Business Support

Gerda van´t Land, Buitengewoon Reizen (NL), managing director

Kornelia Grundmann, gabana Agentur für Barrierefreiheit, managing director


BREAK with networking


Barrier-free Deutsche Bahn – development of an app geared to the needs of disabled travellers

Ellen Engel-Kuhn, DB Vertrieb GmbH, Head of the Disability Liaison Office


Successful hospitality in a different city every two years – the German Protestant Church Festival on the path to becoming a major barrier-free event

Denise Rauschenbach, 36. Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag Berlin 2017 e.V., Head of Barrier-free Church Festival


Allgäu ART Hotel – the hotel without barriers. Developing and marketing an 'integration hotel'

Claus Quasten, Allgäuer Integrationsbetrieb -Hotel- gGmbH, Hotel Director


How the 'Travel for all' system supports the targeted design and communication of barrier-free tourism.

Rolf Schrader, German Seminar for Tourism, managing director


Closing remarks

André Nowak, National Coordination Board Tourism for All, deputy chairman

From 2.50pm
End of the day's activities and networking

Speakers at the “Barrier-free Tourism Day” 2017

The event offered top-class speakers in fields of politics, tourism, associations and specialist organisations. In presentations and panel discussions, they provided valuable impetus on barrier-free tourism. During the breaks and after the event, participants had the opportunity to engage in networking and to directly exchange views with the experts.

Overview of the Speakers

Access & Service

Access to the venue

For the second time, the 6th barrier-free Tourism Day takes place in the new CityCube Berlin in hall A5. The CityCube Berlin was inaugurated in May 2014. Being a multifunctional venue for trade fairs, conferences and events, it is one of Berlin’s new figureheads.

The venue of the barrier-free tourism day is accessible (partly via elevators) via the entrances “Messedamm“ and “Jafféstraße”, the premises of the fair and from a passageway to hall 7. The venue “hall A5” is located at level 1, directly next to the entrance “Jafféstraße”.

20 disabled car parking spaces are availabe on the car parking space „Messedamm“ in front of the CityCube Berlin. Moreover, the trainstation “Messe-Süd” is located in close proximity to the CityCube Berlin.

Admission to the CityCube Berlin to the barrier-free tourism day is free of charge. In case you additionally wish to visit the ITB Berlin fair, you’ll need to purchase a Trade Visitor Ticket.

Handicapped persons have to purchase a ticket as well if they want to visit the ITB Berlin fair.

Admission for accompanying persons is free.

Barrier-free event

As the event is barrier-free in all terms, we provide consecutive, simultaneous and written interpreting services using qualified professionals. The event will be held in English and German (simultaneous interpreting provided). The simultaneous interpreting can be listened to with headphones, which will be provided at the entrance free of charge.

The venue will provide sufficient space for wheelchair users. Handicapped lavatories are located in close proximity to the hall A5.

Assistance dogs are allowed on the premises. Please note that the dog owner has to carry a certification.


In the foyer close to the entrance “Messedamm”, you’ll find a snack bar with savory snacks, pastry and drinks. This area can be reached in a few minutes time and is accessible via elevators and escalators (see orientation map).

With the friendly assistance of

Barrier-free control

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