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The Austrian winner of the EDEN Award 2013 - a prize awarded by the EU Commission to sustainable tourism destinations - received the award on 28.05.2013 at the Schönbrunn conference centre. Kaunertal nature park and glacier region won this national competition - presented as part of the EU project “European Destinations of Excellence”. This year’s EDEN Award was themed “Tourism for everyone”. Its focus was on accessible and innovative tourism projects, which open up the experience of the destination offer to everyone, including for guests with disabilities. “Accessible offers, which can be used all year round, support the inclusion of new target groups and create sustainable added value especially in tourism. Guests with a disability as well as pensioners and families with small children can benefit. And it will also make life easier for the local population in the region,” stresses Reinhold Mitterlehner, Minister for Finance and Tourism, represented at the award ceremony by the department head Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl.

Tirol Touristica 2013

Tirol Touristica is one of the leading tourism prizes in Tyrol. Each year, one person from Tyrol is awarded a prize for their life’s work in tourism, and every two years, prizes are also awarded in the categories “Offer development”, “Marketing and sales”, “Infrastructure and buildings” as well as “Small and major events”. The award alternates with the Tourism Innovation Prize, which the Federal Ministry together with the nine federal states assigns every two years. "Tourism is an essential industry for our country. With the Tirol Touristica award, a worthy framework was created to honour brilliant individuals and pioneers whose untiring commitment and constant aspiration for top performance have enabled Tyrol and its tourism to get to the top in the Alpine region and to steadily hold its position,” says State Governor and Speaker for Tourism, Günter Platter.
The Tourism Board Tyrolean Oberland - and more specifically the nature park region Kaunertal - is receiving an award in the category “Infrastructure and buildings” for the project "Ensemble accessible nature park and glacier region Kaunertal". The jury states as its reasoning: “This project gives people with physical disabilities the opportunity to go on a regular holiday and to enjoy the full magnificence of nature. Accommodations, as well as leisure facilities such as lifts, the Naturparkhaus and wheelchair hiking routes are designed to be accessible. Kaunertal is presenting itself as an accessible Alpine destination and with this project has become a forerunner for tourism in Tyrol."

Tourism for everyone

Awards for innovative and regional initiatives for accessible travel - the winner is the nature park association Kaunergrat in Tyrol

Vienna (OTS/BMWFJ) - Last Thursday, the Ministry for Tourism handed out the awards for the “Tourism for everyone” competition to exemplary Austrian regions, which have developed innovative tourism initiatives relating to multi-generational offers and accessibility or which have developed such offers further. The jury - made up of representatives of the tourism and leisure industry, families, pensioners and disability associations as well as transport associations - chose Kaunergat Nature Park Association in Tyrol as the winner from among 15 submissions. The crucial factor was the extensive design and realisation of an accessible offer in a High-Alpine landscape.

Individuals with limited mobility as well as families and pensioners can access a broad range of accessible leisure and tourism offers in Kaunertal. Hotel Weißseespitze is the accessible centre in the region and offers accessible holidays in summer and in winter.  Naturparkhaus at Piller-Sattel is also designed with this in mind. A multimedia exhibition tells visitors about the flora and fauna, as well as the origins, of the region. In the summer, wheelchair users can ride on the Swiss Truck to make it easier to discover hiking trails. In winter, equipment is available for visiting the accessible cross-country trails. And the accessible lift at Kaunertal glacier should also not be forgotten. The winner will receive funding of up to 40,000 Euros from the Ministry for Tourism for a specific tourism project. Kaunergrat Nature Park Association will use these funds to turn Piller Moor - a popular destination for excursions - into an accessible location.

World Responsible Tourism Award

It is surely unique for a mountain valley in the High Alps to be entirely wheelchair-accessible up to 3,108 m above sea level! What started with the High Mountain Road has today become a multi-award-winning role model and milestone project in Europe.

KAUNERTAL. It was very close... but in the end, at the award ceremony in London on 6 November 2013, Kaunertal lost to the Brazilian Bonito region. Its nomination among the Top 4 is further proof that the region’s efforts to offer all guests an accessible and a great holiday all-round are setting it on the right path. Holidaymakers with limited mobility will find an excellent infrastructure in the truest sense of the word. In addition to its success in London, Kaunertal also received much recognition for its accessibility as a winning destination in Austrian and international competitions.

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© 2016 TVB Tiroler Oberland - Kaunertal Tourism

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