The allergy-friendly municipality is a holiday destination that has been certified as allergy friendly according to the criteria of the ECARF Foundation. It offers allergy sufferers an infrastructure that covers the entire tourism service chain in the non-medical area. Accommodations (hotels, holiday homes, flats, etc.), restaurants, bakeries, food shops and cafés have made practical, cost-effective changes to meet the standards of allergy friendliness.
Deutscher Heilbäderverband e.V. (DHV – German Spa Association) is currently implementing the allergy friendliness standards in Heligoland in preparation for certification by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).
DHV project leader Anja Bode visited Heligoland twice for several days and, together with tourism director Klaus Furtmeier, managed to rouse the enthusiasm of many Heligoland businesses with the idea of an allergy-friendly municipality. This led not only to initial discussions during the past few weeks but also training sessions and inspections of some businesses.
Professor Torsten Zuberbier, director of the ECARF Foundation, is pleased about the decision to make Heligoland allergy friendly: “The ocean spray atmosphere and low pollen count are already favourable conditions that allow allergy sufferers and people with respiratory diseases to have a relaxing vacation. The proposed allergy-friendly services are a perfect fit with these good climate conditions.”
In addition to chronic rheumatic diseases, there are also effective treatment options for wear and tear of the musculoskeletal system and skin diseases on Heligoland, for which the application department of the therapeutic centre offers the ideal conditions.
“Many of our landlords and other service providers already have experience with guests and customers with allergies, which is why they are very interested in certifying Heligoland as an allergy-friendly municipality”, says Jörg Singer, mayor of Heligoland. The municipal and spa administrations will actively support the implementation of the project, which has already begun.
Tourism director Klaus Furtmeier was thrilled about the very promising project kick-off: “We are motivated by the possibility of providing guests with allergies and their families an even higher vacation quality on Heligoland. We will be having many more discussions with service providers on the island over the winter so that we will be ready with a broad range of services by the start of the 2017 season.”
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