Tourism’s significance is increasing as a key driver of global economic growth and employment. In 2014, 1.1 billion people around the world travelled abroad on holiday. In 2030, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there will be 1.8 billion international tourists. This is a very positive development that will contribute to the prosperity of many people and regions. However, we also have to ensure that this process reflects the principles of sustainability. TUI recognised the significance of sustainability many years ago, and it was the first tourism company to appoint an Environment and Sustainability Manager in 1990. The objective, both then and today, is to improve the social and ecological footprint of TUI guests and establish internationally applicable standards.
The globally operating group’s sustainability strategy, “Better Holidays, Better World 2015-2020“, envisages a further 10 percent reduction of CO₂ emissions from its airlines, cruise ships and hotels. TUI also intends to offer 10 million additional sustainable holidays every year and, with the TUI Care Foundation‘s help, it will consolidate and expand its CSR activities. By 2020, the amount of funding being made available for non-profit projects will increase to EUR 10 million.
But TUI doesn’t want to wait until 2020 to find out whether the sustainability targets have been met, so it implements an annual sustainability audit. This audit also allows it to regularly adapt and optimise processes. The 2015 audit results are now on the table, and they reveal that key progress has been made with the airlines, which have the lowest carbon footprint in Europe. CO₂ emissions per passenger and kilometre declined by 2.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. The new TUI Cruises ships are up to 30 percent more energy efficient than comparable models. And 68 percent of TUI’s own hotel brands and concepts received Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification in 2015. This means that over 5.6 million TUI customers have spent their holidays in a hotel with sustainability certification. In addition to that, over 500,000 guests have booked sustainability-oriented excursions (TUI Collection).