Factoring sustainability and future viability into product development is one of the key tasks of our work. Customers increasingly base their purchase decisions on their perceptions of a company’s environmental and social responsibility. We are committed to rooting environment-friendly behaviour and corporate social responsibility across the TUI Group. We know from international customer surveys that travellers expect the operator they trust to make a special effort to protect the landscape and natural resources.
A little medieval village in Tuscany, which lost its last resident in the 1960s and had been largely neglected ever since, is now the nucleus of a tourism project launched by TUI AG. The 1,100-hectare Castelfalfi estate is being carefully restored by TUI in an investment programme worth 250 million euros, with the involvement of all local stakeholders. Sustainability aspects have been taken on board from the planning stage onwards.
At the heart of the organically farmed estate is the village, with its ancient castle dating back to the Lombards. Its agricultural and production sites have been restored, and the cultivation of grapes and olives has been expanded. The vineyards, olive groves and arable land now largely reflect the pattern that once dominated this agrarian region.
Working with the well-known School of Sant’Anna in Pisa, TUI’s Castelfalfi Estate is conducting a three-year trial around the production of biomass, the aim being to become as self-sufficient in energy as possible. The TUI project has created a lot of new jobs in one of the most structurally disadvantaged areas in Tuscany, and it is a shining example of how to revive a cultural and agricultural gem.
The EcoResort label, created by TUI Hotels & Resorts in 2005, is a seal of quality for sustainable development in holiday hotels and is audited by independent, accredited specialists. It focuses on commitment to sustainable development, and this compelling ecological performance is always evident to the guests. It includes, for instance, buying domestic produce (preferably from local farms), working with nature conservation groups, drawing on renewable energies, conserving natural resources, and offering adventurous excursions into the natural surroundings, an ecological shuttle service, and hotel-based nature trails.
Hotels and clubs in the TUI Hotels & Resorts portfolio can qualify to display the EcoResort quality label if they can show that they have been ranked among the TUI Environment Champions and certified according to a recognised international or national environmental standard. Apart from sound ecological performance, they must also demonstrate commitment in the sociocultural field.
The EcoResort website describes in detail how the TUI hotel brands express their responsibility towards nature and the environment. In 2015 44 hotels displayed the EcoResort quality seal.
TUI Environment Champion
Every year since 1996, TUI has been singling out hotels that work particularly hard to protect the environment and exercise their social responsibility, awarding them the title “TUI Environment Champion”. TUI’s purpose with this label is to enhance hoteliers’ awareness and commitment around sustainability. To participate, hotels must hold a valid Sustainability Certificate recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The assessment additionally takes account of what guests say about the hotel’s environmental performance. In 2014 190 hotels were awarded the TUI Environment Champion label.
The TUI Environment Holly is awarded to the Environment Champion with the highest score. Already visible to holidaymakers when reading the catalogue, this distinction flags up the environmental and social commitment displayed by our hotels.
“Green tourism” is popular with holidaymakers: within a year TUI saw demand for environment-friendly hotels more than double in the German market. In 2014 more than a million guests have so far booked a sustainable hotel with TUI.
Together with the Environment Department on the Balearic Islands, TUI has been supporting a reforestation project on Majorca – the TUI Forest – ever since 2009. TUI’s project design actively involves customers and staff. Every TUI customer travelling to Majorca contributes automatically to the reforestation effort, because a set amount is paid in for every trip. If customers booking a trip at a travel agency would like to do more, they can “adopt a tree”, and this provides an additional boost to afforestation. Anyone who donates ten euros for a tree will have their name added to a sign near the forest.
The afforested land helps enhance biodiversity in the area and also to protect the soil from erosion. More than 47,990 indigenous pines and olive trees have so far been planted. By 2015 the TUI Forest is expected to number over 57,000 trees.
For locals and tourists alike, there are information boards about the TUI Forest and the circular ramblers’ trail completed in 2014. TUI customers on Majorca can also take advantage of excursions to the TUI Forest. There is a three-hour, professionally led Nordic Walk-ing Tour, when customers can learn a great deal about the flora and fauna and enjoy a typical Majorcan picnic in the TUI Forest nature conservation area.
Souvenirs and species protection
Travel brochures provided by many tour operators in the TUI Group offer customers background information about the environment and cultural particularities of their destination before they set off.
Once they arrive at their holiday destinations, TUI guests can discover more about nature, the environment and local culture. A number of TUI tour operators have compiled folders and brochures for this purpose. Besides, at the welcome event TUI tour reps discuss issues such as resource conservation, souvenirs and endangered species.
TUI has developed a souvenir guide in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). In destinations where this kind of information is appropriate, “TUI’s Little Guide to Preserving Species” briefs TUI customers about illegal souvenirs associated with endangered species and about alternatives that promote the local economy.
Security and crisis management
The issue of “holiday security” has attracted growing public attention. Natural disasters and political unrest have also affected holiday destinations in recent years. Holidaymakers have increasing security needs, and if the unforeseen does occur they expect their tour operator to look after them to the very best of its ability.
TUI’s security management is designed to identify and eliminate any security risks associated with holiday products. Security checks, for example, are regularly performed in hotels and transfer buses, and staff and travel reps receive training in security-related issues. Crisis management at TUI includes prevention, early detection, response and communication in incidents of crisis. The tour operator TUI Deutschland also has an incident room equipped with the latest communications technology at its Hanover headquarters.
To respond even faster and more effectively in the interests of holidaymakers, TUI Deutschland works with the crisis warning system Global Monitoring. The warning system alerts TUI’s crisis management automatically and immediately as soon as the security of holidaymakers in any destination country is impaired.
Guests can use the personalised service portal “meine TUI” to request notification by text in the event of any short-term changes. In extreme cases, TUI will evacuate holidaymakers from affected areas as rapidly as possible. TUI crisis managers and travel reps are assisted in this by committed colleagues: TUI’s Emergency Care Team and TUIfly’s Special Assistance Team bring together volunteers ready to look after guests in any acute stress situation.