Accessible travel – Seeing the world with other senses
Accessible travel – Seeing the world with other senses
Whether it's wheelchair accessible adventure travel or weekend getaways for walker users – at REHACARE 2017, nearly 20 international exhibitors showcase their multifaceted services focused on "accessible travel". What are the specific options and choices for travelers with visual impairments? The Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen and Portugal 4all Senses provide useful information.
If you don't want to experience Saxony only on a banner, you can travel accessible with the Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen (TMGS). Information can be found at REHACARE in Hall 5, Booth A29.
Germany has a lot to offer as a travel destination. The fact that the state of Saxony is most notably rich in art, culture, and landscape is showcased by the Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen (TMGS) in Hall 5, Booth A29. According to the tour operator, "the holiday destination is also among the leading German states in terms of its commitment to accessible travel." Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz, the Ore Mountains or the more rural areas all beckon travelers to come visit and explore.
The TMGS travel program "Accessible Saxony" (Sachsen Barrierefrei) introduces accommodations and activities that have been verified for local accessibility. Choices not only include options for people with mobility impairments but also consist of specific selections for visually impaired travelers. Since a trip always starts with the planning process, the free brochure features nearly 500 choices and is also available in DAISY format. This enables visually impaired or blind people to interactively listen to all accommodation and leisure options.
In the search function on the website, travelers can select filters that reflect the type of impairment and subsequently only indicate those cultural options or activities that were reviewed in terms of their accessibility for visually impaired people for example. Accessible experiences include sights and museums as well as theaters, restaurants, and zoos.
Daniela and Rita Duarte want to make it possible for people to experience Portugal with all their senses. If you would like to get a first impression of Portuguese hospitality, you have the opportunity as a visitor of the trade fair to Booth B 30 in hall 5.
The famous Staatsoperette Dresden (Dresden Performing Arts Center) provides the BLIS (blind spot information system) for visitors with visual impairments. A tactile floor plan and a blind guidance system in the entrance area assist visitors in navigating the building. Staircase handrails and signs are also furnished with Braille symbols.
For blind or visually impaired visitors, the exhibition objects at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden also provide acoustic or – via Braille – tactile accessibility. The Leipzig Museum of City History (Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig) or the Daetz-Centrum Lichtenstein also allow visitors to touch the exhibits. In addition to many museums, zoos also offer audio guides that are specifically designed for people with visual impairments. Zoo Leipzig also permits guide and service dogs. Important information is available in Braille in many locations.
Nature explorations, culinary treats, and adrenaline kicks
Those, who want to explore distant shores only have to visit Hall 5, Booth B30. This is where tour operator Portugal 4all Senses shows what vacation without barriers can look like. The mission of its founders Daniela and Rita Duarte is to promote Portugal as an accessible tourist destination. As the name of the company implies, travelers can choose the sense with which they would like to explore the country and decide whether they prefer to hear, taste or feel it. Rita Duarte explains the concept: "Even though we customize our travels, we have theme-based vacation packages that emphasize specific aspects: History & Heritage, Gastronomy & Wine and Nature & Sports. In doing so, every trip can be felt and experienced based on personal interests." The booth has flyers in Braille for blind or visually impaired trade fair visitors.
Experience Portugal and its culture with all your senses - Rita and Daniela Duarte make it possible for visually impaired travellers.
Visitors can discover history-laden Lisbon or the Atlantic coast on private guided tours. The guided audio tours through the historic villages of Sintra and Cascais are highly recommended for people with visual impairments. Portugal is also known for its diverse landscapes that can be experienced through many senses. The tour operator specifically points out the exotic smells and sounds of the waves and seagulls along the coast. Tactile experiences are also an option when visiting museums and historical monuments.
Tasting and smelling the many facets of Portugal's food and gastronomy – this type of sensual experience is made possible by savoring wines and tapas. The options include wine tastings and cooking classes that cater to the sense of taste. Melodic Fado music accompanies the sampling of the different Portuguese treats. Travelers can get an adrenaline rush when they embark on sports activities like skydiving, sailing, dancing and surfing. Portugal4all Senses urges visually impaired and blind travelers to explore the Botanical Garden by using their sense of touch.
Accessibility brochures, a multifaceted range of accessible activities and unique sensual experiences – REHACARE 2017 shows how easy and carefree accessible travel can be for people with visual impairments, from the planning process to the accommodation.
And what is the takeaway from this year's trade fair for the tour operators? "REHACARE is the biggest trade fair for all things accessibility. It’s a great learning and networking experience," says Rita Duarte.