make a difference
Product and Destination Stewardship
Beautiful, biodiverse and unique destinations are the heart of our holidays, and we are proud of the role our industry plays in protecting and preserving them. Tourism can be a real force for good, from generating the transfer of wealth to promoting cultural understanding and tolerance.
But we know that travel and tourism can also have unintended negative consequences. Water, for example, is likely to become increasingly scarce in the coming decades and waste management is a challenge in many destinations.
We rely on thriving communities to welcome our customers in destinations. That means it’s important that the benefits of tourism reach the local community in the form of jobs and educational opportunities and that human rights are protected along our value chain.
One of our key areas of focus is the hotel – the biggest component in the holiday experience. Our expectation of hotels that work with us is that they will commit to social and environmental good practice. This expectation is based not only on our commitment to sustainable tourism, but also on good business sense. Reducing the consumption of energy and water saves money for hoteliers, and TUI customer surveys indicate that our most sustainably managed hotels deliver higher quality and customer satisfaction.
The TUI Group works with over 5,000 hotel suppliers around the world. We own or manage over 300 of these hotels, and our global portfolio of over 210,000 beds includes the key hotel brands Riu, Robinson, TUI Magic Life and TUI Blue.
In addition, we work closely with partners on international concepts – including Sensatori, Sensimar and Family Life – that are designed for specific customer segments.
Our hotels are the driving force for improving our sustainability performance in our destinations. Each of them plays a significant role in managing our impacts on the local community, economy and environment.
We have incorporated environmental and social minimum standards into contracts with hotel suppliers and developed a Supplier Code of Conduct.
The best way for us to make tourism more sustainable is to offer ‘greener and fairer’ holidays. A ‘greener and fairer’ holiday is one that includes a hotel with a credible sustainability certification recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), demonstrating that the hotel cares for the environment, their employees and the local community.
The Travelife standard has a major role to play in the process. TUI has been an active supporter since 2007. Through our seat on the board, we are systematically involved in developing this sustainability programme.
In 2014 more than 5.5 million* guests booked a sustainably certified hotel with TUI. That makes 11.5 million bookings of this kind since 2012.
Every year since 1996, TUI Deutschland has been awarding TUI Environment Champion status to hotels that show a particular commitment to protecting the environment and displaying social responsibility. TUI seeks through its TUI Environment Champion award to raise sustainability awareness and commitment among hoteliers and to make it easier for guests to choose a hotel with ‘green’ credentials. One criterion is that participants must hold a valid sustainability certificate recognised by the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council). Opinions expressed by guests about the hotel’s environmental performance are also taken into account in the assessment.
* ISO 14001 and/or GSTC Standard
The Collection is a set of exclusive excursions that have been developed by TUI and tailored to give customers a true taste of the destination. They were launched in 2014 and are now offered by the majority of our tour operators.
Each excursion in the Collection must be exclusive to TUI and meet specific criteria for sustainability (based on ABTA’s sustainable excursion criteria), showing that it is bringing benefit to local people and minimising its impact on the environment.
Over 300,000 customers enjoyed these excursions in 2015, and customer satisfaction research showed that they valued the ‘sustainability’ and ‘local flavour’ aspects particularly highly.
In 2014 TUI Cruises also expanded the number of destinations offering ‘Green & Fair’ on-shore excursions, where particular importance is attached to environmental and social factors. An on-board passenger survey demonstrated the popularity of this excursion category, first launched the previous year. In the year under review, donations amounting to over €100,000 were collected during Green & Fair excursions. The beneficiaries were the SECORE Foundation, M.E.E.R. e.V. (for the conservation of whales and dolphins), Pottwale e.V. (a charity dedicated to protecting sperm whale habitats), a research project run by the Helmholtz Centre in Geesthacht, and the Förderverein Meeresforschung und Umweltjournalismus (an association promoting maritime research and environmental journalism).
TUI companies are attaching greater weight to environmental factors in the procurement process. For instance, TUI Cruises has implemented its own guidelines on sustainable sourcing. Each department in the company rates environmental performance when selecting and evaluating suppliers and service providers. The assessment criteria include, for example, efforts to protect resources and prevent waste.
In the hotel sector too, environmental compatibility and product origin are factors in the procurement process. Preference is given to local and regional products, as long as sufficient quantities are available and the quality is right. This avoids unnecessary mileage and extra packaging. Our Sensatori hotel in Mexico is supporting a beekeeping community that sells honey-based products to local hotels. They have also supported our Jungle Jams project, run in conjunction with the Travel Foundation. Mayan women from the remote community of Chumpon are earning an income selling jam to this hotel (and others in the area), giving visitors a taste of the real Mexico.
Protection for cats and dogs in our destinations has been important to TUI for many years. In Germany, these animals are usually kept as pets and treated as valued members of the family. Consequently most of our guests feel sympathetic towards the strays who fend for themselves in holiday regions.
Since 2012 TUI Deutschland has been acknowledging hotels which take care of strays as animal friendly. The designation is awarded for respecting specific criteria. These include, for example, the castration of all animals living in the hotel grounds, the creation of a feeding point with appropriate foodstuffs, veterinary supervision and care for the animals, and an information policy to explain these actions to guests. Our local service staff regularly monitor compliance with these requirements. 47 hotels in Turkey, Spain, Greece and Cyprus are currently recognised by TUI as animal friendly.
In the last six years, our customers have been helping TUI to plant 57,600 trees in the Llevant Natural Park near Artà in the east of Mallorca. This has permitted the reforestation of 71 hectares of land, an area large enough to accommodate 100 football pitches. The TUI Forest Project, carried out in partnership with the Balearic Environment Ministry, came to a successful conclusion this year.
The TUI Forest was planted with stone pines and wild olive trees, as these two species are quick to strike roots and are thus able to break up the porous soil. The pines are hardier trees and were therefore planted in the highest spots, where there is more exposure to the sun and water is less readily available. The effect is to prevent soil erosion, to restore the original landscape and to help avert climate change. The hills along the coast were once wooded, but fell prey to fires in recent decades.
of customers in the last 6 years
in the Llevant Natural Park near
Artà in eastern Mallorca.
In the winter season of 2009/10, TUI Deutschland began contributing a fixed sum of money towards the TUI Forest for every guest who holidayed on Mallorca. The overall budget for the reforestation project was 663,000 euros.
In the summer of 2015, over 1,300 employees and many TUI guests in more than 50 destinations took part in beach clean-ups. The ‘Make Holidays Greener’ campaign declared July to be a month of action, inviting holiday-makers and tourism workers all over the world to join in. Over 1,000 large waste bags were collected.
By cleaning up the beaches with the help of these guests, TUI was addressing a major problem – the large volume of plastic that is discharged into the oceans. Not only does it endanger underwater organisms; it enters the food chain as well. Plastic is not biodegradable; it simply breaks up into smaller and smaller particles. As a consequence, the harmful substance finds its way into the stomachs of fish and from there onto plates in fish restaurants and private kitchens.