Hallo. Wie kann ick ihaen halfen.
Linguistic gymnastics. Twitched on the Pommel Horse. No arms. Impossible. Meant Beam. With one leg shorter than the other. A metaphorical challenge to speak in another language. I tried. I committed. Hope I didn’t offend.
Huge thanks to the German National Tourist Board and Olaf Schlieper for involving me in the Accessible Tourism Day at ITB Berlin. Over 300 participants from over 20 countries. Struggled to log on due to numbers. A good sign. Using the translation function was definitely a new experience.
But it felt familiar. Issues Purple have supported alongside VisitEngland and VisitScotland Business Events. Practical interventions needed by destinations to improve accessibility. Lived experience solutions from disabled tourists. Leadership from tourism industry. An obvious increase in awareness of hidden disabilities. Hello, how can I help you (see first line) is a key Purple Tuesday message for frontline staff to engage with customers who may have an invisible impairment.
Takeaways. Cultural and economic value of tourism is enormous. Accessibility aids democracy. Never thought of it like that. Stoked the memory of my French teacher telling me to focus on the basics of English. Other languages. Too complicated for you son. Lucky my brilliant niece Olivia Adams could assist honing my German skills.