The ambitious pilot study, based on customers visiting Cyprus measures and values a wide range of economic, social, environmental, and tax impacts. It highlights the inadequacies of measuring success using only proxy indicators such as visitor numbers - which does not provide clear insight into the impact of those visitors.
The research also shows the importance of going beyond basic economic measures. For instance, tourism tax receipts are not often discussed as a benefit for destinations, but were found to be a very significant benefit for Cyprus, equivalent to €25 per customer per night. Airport departure tax accounted for just ten percent of this total, which includes other taxes such as corporation tax, VAT and income tax.
Furthermore the study shows that a significant amount of the total impact of tourism comes "indirectly" from supply chain activities and tourism spend. For example, supply chains and other services used by customers were found to generate almost 14 times as much waste as the hotels themselves (1.8kg of rubbish per customer per night from hotels compared with 25kg from the supply chain).
The results clearly reveal that, in this study, TUI’s operations generate overwhelmingly positive benefits. But the project also shows that whilst the environmental damage caused by one tourist may be small, this is multiplied by millions of tourists over the years, and thus needs to be carefully managed, if a destination is to stay attractive for years to come.
“This is a ground-breaking investigation by PwC and The Travel Foundation which reveals the extent to which our holidays bring positive benefits to a destination. It gives us brand new insights into how to further improve the positive and minimise the negative impacts of tourism. Our business and our customers’ satisfaction is dependent upon thriving communities and well-managed environments, so as well as taking action ourselves, we are sharing the learnings from this project with the wider industry and with destination governments, so collectively we can make a difference”, said Jane Ashton, TUI Group Director of Sustainability.