8th Barrier-free Tourism Day at the ITB,
8 March 2019 in the CityCube Berlin

The 8th Barrier-free Tourism Day took place from 10.30am to 3pm on Friday, 8 March 2019 at the ITB travel fair in Berlin. Key theme of this year was the “development of target group specific accessible tourism products”.

How can touristic offers respond to the needs of holidaymakers with disabilities? Which attractive possibilities do already exist for the different target groups of barrier-free tourism? And what are the chances and challenges for tourism service providers and DMOs related to this topic?

The programme included presentations and a panel discussion, at which experts looked closely at these issues in practical terms and from a range of perspectives.

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and its strategic partner, the National Coordination Board Tourism for All (NatKo), welcomed again around 200 visitors at the “8. Barrier-free Tourism Day”, including representatives from politics, the international travel industry, destination marketing organisations, associations, universities and the media.

The event is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It was organised with the support of the Tourism for All working group of the German federal states, the working group “Accessible Travel – Barrier-free Destinations in Germany“ and the Messe Berlin exhibition centre.

Schedule for the Barrier-free Tourism Day at the ITB on 08 March 2019 in the CityCube Berlin, level 1, hall A7


Andreas Stopp, Deutschlandfunk, Science and Education, deputy head of department


Olaf Schlieper, German National Tourist Board, Innovations Manager


Alexander Stedtfeld, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Government director, Department VIIA4, Tourism Policy


Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities


Victor Calise, Commissioner Office for People with Disabilities New York, USA

11:10 - 12:10am
Panel discussion


Carola Heimann, "Network Hearing" Saarland ("Netzwerk Hören“ Saarland), Project Leader

Dr. Heidrun Mollenkopf, BAGSO e.V., Board member

Axel Biermann, Römer-Lippe-Route, Chief Executive Officer of Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Stephan de Haar, Autostadt Wolfsburg, Director of Visitor Services

Victor Calise, Commissioner Office for People with Disabilities New York, USA

Damiano La Rocca, Seable Ltd., Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Hanna Ursin, BSK-Reisen GmbH, Chief Executive Officer

12:10 - 12:45am
BREAK with networking

Opportunity to talk to the experts

12:45am - 1pm

Free space for all: barrier-free health care services for guests and citizens

Thomas Görtz, Freizeitzentrum Xanten, Mayor of the city Xanten and Chief Executive Officer of Freizeitzentrum Xanten GmbH

1 - 1:15pm

Park der Gärten: The Gardening Show in Bad Zwischenahn - A destination for all presents itself

Christian Wandscher, Park der Gärten Ostfriesland, Chief Executive Officer

1:15 - 1:30pm

Hambacher Castle - Democratic history and culture for all

Ulrike Dittrich, Hambacher Castle, Castle Manager

1:30 – 1:45pm

The possibilities and benefits of the new “Tourism for All-database” for guests and suppliers

Rolf Schrader, German Seminar for Tourism (DSFT), Managing Director

1:45 - 2pm
Closing remarks

Andreas Kammerbauer, Representative of German association for the hearing impaired and National Coordination Board Tourism for All (NatKo)


Opportunity to talk to the experts

2:30 - 3pm
Award Ceremony

Awarding of the Columbus-Ehrenpreis 2019, of the association of German travel editors (Vereinigung Deutscher Reisejournalisten (VDRJ)) to Karl Bock, Chief Executive Officer of Runa Reisen

Speakers at the “Barrier-free Tourism Day” 2019

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

The 8th Barrier-free Tourism Day takes place in the CityCube Berlin in hall A7. 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 “Messedamm” and “Jafféstrasse”, the premises of the fair and from a passageway to hall 7. The venue “hall A7” is located close to the Jafféstrasse entrance.

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 A7.

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).

daugiau »Review: 09 March 2018 Barrier-free Tourism Day, ITB Berlin

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