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Barrier-free Travel in Germany Highlighted During Paralympics

Barrier-free Travel in Germany Highlighted During Paralympics

Germany is open to all and is a cosmopolitan and hospitable travel destination that welcomes everyone, able bodied and disabled visitors, from all walks of life, whatever the reason for their visit. That was the message given by the German National Tourist Board, the strategic partner of the German House in London during the Paralympics.

German House London

Meeting guests at German House London were (front row): Gold Medal Winner Kirsten Bruhn (swimming); Sandra Mikolaschek (wheelchair table tennis); and Andreas Schneider, Parapictures Film Productions; (back row): members of the pop group Klee, with Hendrik Flügge, Parapictures Film Productions; Ludger Elling, Vice President of Education, National Paralympic Committee in Germany; Wilfried Lemke, Special Advisor United Nations; Norbert Tödter, Director Strategic Planning and Development, German National Tourist Board; and Klaus Lohmann, Director, German National Tourist Office for UK and Ireland.

Guests at the event were given an exclusive preview of ‘Gold’ – a new documentary to be released in 2013 by Parapictures Films, which tells the story of three outstanding Paralympic athletes who have steered their lives from tragedy to triumph.

The German Ambassador, His Excellency Ambassador Boomgaarden, introduced Paralympic stars Gold Medal Winner Kirsten Bruhn (swimming) and Sandra Mikolaschek (wheelchair table tennis), who talked to guests about their experiences as Paralympic athletes.

Klaus Lohmann, German National Tourist Office Director UK & Ireland, said: “The message from these Olympics is that sport doesn’t accept a ‘no’ and the message to all visitors to Germany is a ‘yes’. The achievements of the athletes and the experiences we have witnessed today in the film ‘Gold’ have set new standards in courage and achievement, not just in sport, but in life. They are role models for all of us. That is why the GNTB is committed to setting new ‘Gold’ standards in ‘barrier-free‘ travel in Germany and which has been inspired by everyone who has taken part in the Paralympics.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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