Rhodes/Hanover, 23 July 2023

Wildfires in Rhodes

  • 7,800 TUI guests have been evacuated
  • Empty TUI aircraft flying to Rhodes, to get customers back home
  • No more new guests flying in until Tuesday
  • Additional TUI staff is being relocated to Rhodes to support guests

The Southeastern part of Rhodes is currently experiencing wildfires. TUI teams on the island are working hard to provide alternate hotels, shelter food and drinks to all TUI guests. As of Sunday, TUI has around 39,000 guests on the island, 7,800 of them directly affected by the situation. They have been relocated to safe places including hotels or shelters designated by the local authorities. “Many holidaymakers are affected by the forest fires and we are trying to do everything possible to support our guests in the affected area, and elsewhere on the island. But it is of course a special and challenging situation. We acted immediately and increased the teams and the number of colleagues on Rhodes island. Over 300 TUI representatives, drivers, service colleagues and many more are currently doing everything they can to help. TUI colleagues are working tirelessly helping our guests and making plans to get them home safely. For those planning to travel in the next few days, we are recommending amending their bookings to other destinations and have teams in place to help with this. We are in continuous contact with local authorities and with the Greek Government”, says Thomas Ellerbeck, Member of the Group Executive Committee. 

Due to the volatile and challenging situation, and considering the impact on local communities being affected by evacuations, TUI will continue flight operations to/from Rhodes to bring customers home, but has decided to cancel booked holidays to Rhodes for departures up to and including Tuesday, 25 July. For further information regarding bookings after that time, we’d advise customers to contact their local tour operator. We’d also urge guests with bookings for Wednesday 26 July to make use of fee free amendment options to enjoy a holiday in another destination, to help to relieve the situation further and will guarantee a smooth holiday experience.

TUI is monitoring the situation very closely and is in permanent contact with local authorities and the Greek government. “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority. We are currently bringing in more additional support staff on empty incoming flights, and continue flying guests safely back home from their holidays. We are asking those impacted by the fires to follow the advice of local authorities and to approach our TUI representatives, on the ground. In addition, we’re asking them to regularly check the TUI app for updates”, says Thomas Ellerbeck.  

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has setup a Help Desk for foreign citizens in the International Airport of Rhodes, in Terminal 1. The Help Desk, headed by Katerina Tzima, Embassy Counsellor, is facilitating and coordinating, in cooperation with the relevant Embassies, the departure of visitors who have lost their travel documents.

The Ministry of Tourism announced the operation of a Help Desk at the city of Rhodes (Makariou and Papagou 85100). Foreign citizens, tour operators and travel agents who wish to contact the Help Desk can call the following numbers: 0030 2241044335, 0030 2241044330, 0030 2241044338.

About TUI Group

The TUI Group is one of the world's leading tourism groups and operates worldwide. The Group is headquartered in Germany. TUI shares are listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in the regulated market of the Lower Saxony Stock Exchange in Hanover and at the London Stock Exchange. TUI Group offers its 19 million customers integrated services from a single source and forms the entire tourism value chain under one roof. The Group owns over 400 hotels and resorts with premium brands such as RIU, TUI Blue and Robinson and 16 cruise ships, ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 in the luxury class and expedition ships in the HANSEATIC class to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and cruise ships operated by Marella Cruises in the UK. The Group also includes Europe's leading tour operator brands and online marketing platforms, for example for hotelonly or flight-only offers, five airlines with more than 130 modern medium- and long-haul aircraft and around 1,200 travel agencies. In addition to expanding its core business with hotels and cruises via successful joint ventures and activities in vacation destinations, TUI is increasingly focusing on the expansion of digital platforms. The Group is transforming itself into a global tourism platform company.   

Global responsibility for sustainable economic, environmental and social action is at the heart of our corporate culture. With projects in 25 countries, the TUI Care Foundation initiated by TUI focuses on the positive effects of tourism, on education and training and on strengthening environmental and social standards. In this way, it supports the development of vacation destinations. The globally active TUI Care Foundation initiates projects that create new opportunities for the next generation.