In March 2017 the TUI Group made a clear commitment to the European Union by setting up an office in Brussels in addition to its Berlin office. The new office will officially open in a few months' time. Close liaison with European decision makers and timely participation in debates will increase the likelihood of our voice being heard on issues that are relevant to us. The European Union is also playing an increasingly important role in tourism. It is therefore only logical that TUI, as a global, integrated tourism group, should have an office in Brussels.
We intend to make our presence felt in Brussels because an increasing volume of national legislation in our markets is defined at EU level. One recent example is the new EU Package Travel Directive, which had been under discussion in Brussels since 2008, was adopted in 2015 and is currently being transposed into national law. This and other examples highlight the importance of being present in Brussels when the legislative process commences so that we can actually participate in it.
EU initiatives that promote infrastructure, employment and prosperity in many countries that are TUI destinations are also of particular interest to us, and we hope to emphasise the importance of the tourism industry, clarify the options available to TUI and consolidate partnerships with the EU from our Brussels base. The lobbying process is never a one-way street. On the contrary, we intend to contribute to the future tourism strategy by collaborating with EU decision makers.