Picture: Tui opened an academy in the Dominican Republic last year in partnership with Plan International

Operator hails ‘massive progress’ and explains the aims of the Tui Care Foundation. Ian Taylor reports

Tui reported taking 8.3 million customers on ‘greener, fairer holidays’ last year as it approaches its 2020 goal of 10 million – just one goal of its ‘Better Holidays, Better World’ strategy launched in 2015.

The group defines a ‘greener, fairer holiday’ as one where the hotel has a sustainability certification recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Tui’s Sustainability Report 2017, published in June, noted four out of five hotels the group owns or manages had attained certification by the mid-point of the six-year programme.

Group director of sustainable development Jane Ashton said:

“We’ve made massive progress on greener, fairer holidays, but we still have areas to work on. It’s not a done deal that we’ll hit our target.

“The largest proportion [of these holidays] are to our own hotels and those of our biggest partners. The challenge is to keep hotels certified [given] the ethos is to sharpen the criteria over time. The bar is constantly being raised, so it’s a challenge to keep the numbers up let alone to grow them.

“Our purchasing team is really supportive in persuading non-Tui hotels to seek certification. It is driving better practice.”

The Better Holidays, Better World strategy “encompasses the whole organisation”, Ashton said, explaining: “Every area is working to maximise the positive and minimise the negative impacts of tourism.

“On social impacts there are one or two prime examples. The Tui Collection is going from strength to strength with high customer satisfaction [scores] and community benefit, and the growth in the Tui Care Foundation has been phenomenal in the past year.”

But she said: “Our real aim is to create a sea change across the leisure tourism sector – in impacts, in social performance and in community performance – and at scale. We aim to get more and more suppliers through certification.”

Tui’s Sustainability Report highlighted continuing improvement in the fuel efficiency of its airline fleet and a 5.5% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger per night in its cruise fleet; the sale of more than one million Tui Collection excursions that “have sustainability at their heart”; and €7.3 million raised to enhance positive impacts and support good causes through the TUI Care Foundation.

Tui initiatives

• Airline carbon impact : “We’ve been sharing best practice, driving down weight [on the aircraft], driving down the carbon and environmental impacts. Some things are now so embedded they are just part of what we do.”
• Plastics : “We’re trying to reduce the use plastics across the business – at head office, in hotels, airlines and cruise ships.”
• TuI Cruises: A food wastereduction project on MeinSchiff 4 cut waste by 17%. Ashton said: “Food waste was a big concern for people. In time it will be implemented across our cruise business.”
• TuI Hotels: Investment in renewables. Robinson Club Apulia has one of Europe’s largest hotel photovoltaic facilities – its 3,280 solar panels produce enough energy to power 450 households.

Tui Care foundation

• TuI Turtle Aid: Launched in June with partnerships in Greece, Turkey and Cape Verde, it aims to protect one million new-born turtles by 2020.
• TuI Academies: Offer vocational training to local and disadvantaged youth, especially girls, to work in the industry.

Tui Care Foundation

Helen Caron, new member of the Tui Care Foundation Board of Trustees

helen-caron-headshotI saw the difference sustainable tourism can bring to a destination when I visited Zambia 10 years ago on one of Tui’s early sustainable tourism projects. The trip left a lasting impression, and it’s a privilege to be asked to sit on the Tui Care Foundation board of trustees.

As Tui Group product and purchasing director, I work with hoteliers, partners and tourist boards. I’m looking forward to taking an active role, using my experience to help raise funds and ensure a pipeline of projects.

The benefits to a destination can’t be underestimated. The foundation works globally and acts locally, building partnerships with local and international organisations so the impact is long lasting.

The charity has really made a difference, supporting more than 30 projects, from helping to train young women in Morocco to run bicycle tours to protecting turtles in Cape Verde.

In many of our markets, customers can donate to the Tui Care Foundation when they book. They can also support the foundation and learn more about projects on holiday through our Tui excursions and fundraising activities.

We’re grateful for our customers’ generous donations and ask them to continue their support. Tui covers the Tui Care Foundation’s running costs, ensuring that 100% of customer donations go to projects.

Our industry’s future depends on us working with customers, partners and competitors to protect destinations. Offering experiences that are more responsible, and having strict social, environmental and governance standards, are essential for the industry to manage its impact.

Sustainability certification for hotels is key. It helps hotels manage their environmental and social impacts, reduce energy and water consumption and ensure support for local people, businesses and culture. We encourage customers to look for the Travelife logo when booking.

‘Caring for a Better World’

Thomas Ellerbeck, member of the Group Executive Committee of Tui Group and chairman of the Tui Care Foundation Board of Trustees

thomas-ellerbeck-headshotTui stands for sustainable tourism. Social and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin when it comes to our corporate responsibility. From the introduction of carbon-efficient aircraft to hotels with recognised high environmental standards, from excursions characterised by sustainability criteria to projects that facilitate vocational training for local youth.

Tui’s sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’ stands for a holistic approach to the challenges of more sustainable tourism. We take our responsibility seriously and create opportunities for people in less-developed regions. Access to education and training and better prospects for young women are key topics for the work of Tui Care Foundation.

Our work has only just started. In 2017, Tui Care Foundation started to implement the ‘Caring for a Better World’ strategy. By 2020, the foundation will work towards three main goals: opening up new perspectives for the young generation, contributing to preservation of the environment, and above all, supporting families in destinations in participating to a greater extent in the success of tourism.

My visit to our initiative in Crete last summer clearly revealed this connection. The project links the three major sectors of the local economy: agriculture, viticulture and tourism and connects 190 winegrowers and olive farmers with the island’s tourism industry. The project is a showcase for the great potential of tourism for the creation of local added value and local employment. People in the destinations thus benefit to a greater extent and more sustainably from tourism.

This is also reflected in our Tui Academies programme, where young people get the opportunity to develop a successful career in tourism. Coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, with no prospect of a future for many of them, a vocational education at a Tui Academy is their first chance of participation in their region’s booming tourism sector.

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