Tui Group’s ongoing sustainability strategy saw €6.6 million raised last year for research, charity and special projects in holiday destinations.
The annual funding for non-profit projects should rise to €10 million a year by 2020 with the support of a realigned Tui Care Foundation.
The Thomson and First Choice owner suggests that 2016 was the year that sustainable tourism started to go mainstream.
The group’s customers booked 6.3 million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays in 1,170 hotels certified to a sustainability standard.
Holidaymakers participated in 846,000 Tui Collection excursions which focus on sustainability and benefits to local communities.
The group initiated its ‘Better Holidays, Better World 2015-2020’ strategy two years ago.
Targets include offering ten million ’greener and fairer’ holidays a year from 2020.
Tui also aims to operate Europe’s most carbon-efficient airlines and reduce the CO₂ intensity of business operations by 10%.
Recent company research among more than 3,000 people across Europe shows that sustainability can be a deciding factor in holiday choices but customers want more information and choice when booking.
Thomas Ellerbeck, group executive committee member responsible for the sustainability strategy, said: “With 6.3 million ’greener and fairer’ holidays in 2016 sustainable travel is on track to going mainstream.
“However, there is still ground to cover to meet our 2020 commitments.
“With its sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’ Tui has created the right framework to play a leading role for better environmental and social standards in travel destinations.
“The Tui Care Foundation supports educational and environmental projects in holiday destinations all over the world.”
Sustainable development director, Jane Ashton added: “Tui has worked hard over many years to develop more sustainable holiday offerings.
“Recent customer research shows that our customers are developing growing awareness for sustainability.
“They value more sustainable travel as it enhances the authenticity of their holiday experiences and at the same time improves the benefit to host communities.”
Group chief executive, Fritz Joussen, said: “For many people in the world tourism is the key to a more prosperous life.
“As the leading tourism group worldwide it is our responsibility to strengthen the positive effects of tourism.
“Our sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’ underlines this requirement.
“The results in the current progress report are very encouraging and show that the strategy is lived and promoted on all levels of the company.”
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