Close your eyes, and imagine the ability to vacation in a beautiful seaside resort town dedicated to catering to allergies. You awake to the warm scent of freshly baked gluten-free bread from the shop next to your hotel, where your room is prepared for sensitivities, down to the mite-free mattress. You start your day with a stroll along a street free of pollen-rich trees, stop in to get your hair done at a salon offering allergy sensitive products, and finish off the relaxing afternoon with a generous scoop of milk-free ice cream. You can open your eyes now; this town really does exist …
The German resort town of Baabe set on the Baltic Sea is soon to be named the world’s first “allergy-friendly community” by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. Though many of the hotels and products throughout Europe already bear the ECARF allergy-friendly seal, Baabe will be the first to offer an entire community of compliant offerings. May 8th, 2008 is the anticipated date of compliance.
Baabe is located on the small island of Rügen in the German state of Mecklenberg-Vorpommern, and has roughly 900 residents. The town was a natural for the allergy-friendly role, as it has long been considered a health treatment destination, with little wind and a low pollen climate thought to be therapeutic for people with allergies.
Going above and beyond in every way possible, some examples of other town features will include specific food allergy provisions, special vacuum cleaners to reduce dust, nickel-free cooking supplies, and of course, a smoking ban.