4 September 2018, BERLIN - Locals and visitors alike joined forces in Berlin on Tuesday to help pick up litter around the popular Tiergarten park.
For these visitors, it was a chance to give back to both the city and its residents, who had impressed them on their travels.
The initiative was organised by local walking tour company SANDEMANs NEW Europe, and was strongly supported by the BSR, who provided both equipment and advice. Around 50 people from across the world took part, and to say thank you, SANDEMANs gave all participants a free ticket to one of their afternoon tours, and took them for a free beer afterwards at Belushi’s, near Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.
Maisie English, a visitor from Portsmouth, UK who joined the clean up said, ”I feel like tourists get quite a bad rep, like nobody wants them. When we were in Barcelona the other day, and they had a big sign that said ‘tourist invasion, go home!’. So I think this is quite a good thing to do to say ‘hey look, we like your city, that’s why we want to come!’ This was such an easy way to get involved.”
However, it wasn’t just the initiative that the participants had praise for, with the guests also saying how much they were enjoying Berlin itself. Megan Killer, a visitor from Florida, USA said of Berlin, “It’s awesome, I love it. I love how much history is here,” while Cory Graves from California praised Berlin as “a really unpretentious city”, and Alison Romaine from Portsmouth, UK described the Hauptstadt as “very vibrant and diverse.”
Although the clean up saw guests from as far afield as Australia taking part, it wasn't just visitors to the city who were helping to give back. Berlin local Paul Pfeiffer joined with three friends, with the group stating that although they all love the parks in Berlin, they also love their city, the people and the culture, while Azuz Aquil, originally from Syria said that his favourite thing about Berlin was the openness.
SANDEMANs Partner Relations and Communications Director Stephanie Taylor-Carrillo said, "Although we now operate in 20 cities, Berlin has a special place in our hearts, because the very first SANDEMANs tours started here 15 years ago. We are always looking for ways to show our love for the city, and we know visitors to Berlin love it as much as we do, so we looked for an accessible way to help them give back.
“All of us who live in Berlin know what a great job the BSR does, and we are grateful to them for their support with this project. We are also thankful to visitBerlin for the promotion they offered this event, and Belushi’s for hosting us for the drinks afterwards,” she added.
SANDEMANs will be holding a similar clean up in Edinburgh later this week, and will be looking for new ways to get visitors to the city involved in more community-minded projects.