Rhodes/Hanover, 3 November 2023

Reforestation project on Rhodes: Government of the South Aegean and TUI Care Foundation launch TUI Forest

  • TUI Forest with native, fire-tolerant trees to be established from 2024 
  • Reforestation project is part of the sustainability initiative "Co-Lab Rhodes" 
  • Project announced at the international management conference of TUI Group on Rhodes 

In close cooperation with the government of the South Aegean, the TUI Care Foundation is planning a reforestation project on the island of Rhodes. Native, fire-tolerant trees are to be planted for a future TUI Forest. As part of the project, nature-based tourism experiences will be developed for the local population and for holidaymakers. This will also create new jobs in the field of nature conservation and sustainable tourism. Educational programmes on environmental protection and sustainability are being developed for children and young people. The project will be implemented from 2024 and the details are currently being finalised. The joint project was announced during the visit of George Chatzimarkos, Governor of the South Aegean region, to TUI Group's international management conference which is currently taking place on Rhodes.

George Chatzimarkos, Governor of South Aegean Region, comments: “The new reality of climate change is here and we need to adjust. Sustainability transformation becomes now even more important than it was before. At the Region of South Aegean, we aim to pave the way towards tomorrow and the change we need. Our collaboration with TUI Group and Destination Co-Lab Rhodes can play an important role in this, as it is a holistic approach, covering not only environmental sustainability, but also social, cultural and economic sustainability. The TUI Forest is only a part of our Co-Lab strategy and biodiversity is our joint commitment to future generations. TUI Group and TUI Care Foundation along with South Aegean, together we plant the forest of resilience and regeneration οf Rhodes.”

The TUI Forest is being developed as part of the Destination Co-Lab Rhodes. The aim of this partnership between TUI Group, TUI Care Foundation, the Government of the South Aegean and the Government of Greece is to develop Rhodes into a sustainable holiday destination. The island is to become a beacon for sustainable tourism transformation, from whose experiences and implementation strategies other destinations will benefit. To this end, the partners are working closely with the local and regional tourism industry. The preservation of biodiversity and an intact environment as well as the reduction of the ecological footprint of tourism form an important pillar of the Co-Lab alongside social and cultural aspects. 

Sebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI Group, says: "The South Aegean includes some of the most popular holiday destinations for TUI's guests. Governor Chatzimarkos has impressively shown us that the region not only stands for a first-class tourism product.

Within the framework of Co-Lab Rhodes, exemplary work is being carried out here on the sustainable transformation of our industry. We are proud to be one of the founders of this pioneering initiative, both as a company and with the independent TUI Care Foundation. Sustainability is a top priority for TUI and was therefore also an important topic at our management conference." 

The TUI Forest Rhodes will be part of the international TUI Forests programme of the TUI Care Foundation. By planting trees, TUI Forests are created worldwide, creating new natural habitats and giving the local population as well as holidaymakers the opportunity to rediscover the natural forest environment. A few days ago, the TUI Care Foundation, together with the Balearic government, presented an extensive reforestation project on Mallorca. 

Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation, emphasises: "With the Destination Co-Lab Rhodes, we are pursuing a holistic approach to the sustainable transformation of tourism on the island. Forests are investments in the future. Their full impact on biodiversity and resilience unfolds over a period of decades. Our goal is to plant at least five million trees in TUI forests around the world over the next three years. Such initiatives show that tourism is a driver of positive change - today, in the medium and in the long term." 

TUI customers in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands can support the TUI Forests Programme of the TUI Care Foundation by adopting a tree when booking travel on the respective TUI websites. Tree adoptions will also soon be available for bookings at TUI travel agencies. Other TUI markets are working on their introduction.  

About TUI Care Foundation

Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects, which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving communities all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and training initiatives to open up new opportunities and perspectives for young people, the protection of the natural environment in holiday destinations and sustainable livelihoods in thriving destinations where local communities can benefit even more from tourism. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local – it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to destination programmes with all administration costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.

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 in the FTSE 250, an index of 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 hotel-only 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.