People’s awareness of their ecological and social responsibility is growing. In TUI’s recent Sustainability Survey with 3,000 holidaymakers across six European markets, 57% said they would book with a more environmentally sustainable holiday if these were available, up 17 points from the response in 2012.
In the framework of its sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’, TUI Group has set a goal to deliver ten million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays a year by 2020. This is measured by the number of customers taken to hotels with credible sustainability certifications.
“In order to achieve our goal, we support and advise our hotels on their path towards successful certification to standards recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the implementation of sustainability projects,” said Andreas Vermöhlen, Sustainability Manager TUI Group for Hotels & Resorts. In order, for instance, to be certified to the Travelife standard, a hotel must meet certain ecological, socio-cultural and employee-related requirements and communicate these activities. Compliance with the requirements is reviewed by auditors during one-site audits.
“In 2017 TUI delivered 8.3 million ‘greener and fairer holidays’ and around 1,200 hotels held sustainability certifications. The proportion of certified hotels in TUI's portfolio of own hotels is 76 per cent,” said Vermöhlen. These hotels also participate in numerous projects and initiatives to promote climate protection, species protection and more efficient resource management. The hotels also support local communities through joint projects. The following examples from TUI’s core brands illustrate the wide range of projects supported in the framework of the Group’s commitment:
RIU Guanacaste, Costa Rica: Local nature conservation
The RIU Guanacaste hotel in Costa Rica is committed to conserving the nature around it. The hotel has created a national wildlife refuge occupying 200 hectares of land, about the size of around 280 football pitches. It contains 250 flora and fauna species, flourishing without any human intervention. Some of them are in danger of extinction in other regions.
Robinson Club Maldives: Drinking water from the sea
The Robinson Clubs in the Maldives enable their guests to drink water produced from seawater thanks to the hotel’s own seawater desalination system. Carbonic acid is added to the purified seawater to make drinking water, which is then decanted into reusable glass bottles. This helps the hotel to avoid thousands of plastic bottles every year it would otherwise need to provide drinking water for its guests, and to eliminate the need for carbon-intensive transport of plastic bottles.
Il Castelfalfi – TUI Blue Selection, Italy: Wine and olives grown on TUI’s own estate
The new TUI Blue hotel in Tuscany has eliminated the need for long transport routes for deliveries of wine and olive oil. The traditional natural products used by Il Castelfalfi – TUI Blue Selection are grown on the property, on TUI’s own organic production estate. Up to 40,000 bottles of wine and 35,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil, used by the restaurants as a regular component of their authentic, local cuisine, are produced in the adjacent estate every year.
TUI Magic Life Fuerteventura, Spain: The towel trick
Every day, tonnes of towels are washed in hotels around the world, consuming huge amounts of detergent that pollutes our water. So far, those little signs in hotel bathrooms asking the guests to re-use their towels have often fallen on deaf ears. The TUI Magic Life Club in Fuerteventura performed an experiment, testing different messages. The result: playing on the force of habit is a more promising approach than finger-wagging in encouraging people to save laundry. The message ‘Reuse me again tomorrow. Just like at home’ increased the re-use rate for bath towels. The series of tests will now be continued in other hotels.
TUI Family Life Aegean Blue by Atlantica, Greece: Food waste – No, thanks!
The TUI Family Life hotel in the Greek island of Rhodes has launched new initiatives to avoid food waste. Through an innovative online solution, guests may order dishes in advance so that the kitchen teams can plan ahead much more accurately. This enables the hotel to meet its customers’ wishes while at the same time reducing the amount of food waste. The hotel also supports the local community by selectively working with regional food suppliers so as to promote local companies.
TUI Sensimar El Dorado, Mexico: Sea turtle nesting ground
For thousands of years, turtles have come to Riviera Maya in the Caribbean coast in the south east of Mexico to lay their eggs. They can still do so without getting disturbed on the beach of the TUI Sensimar El Dorado Seaside Suites & Spa – the hotel will take care of the baby turtles. Throughout the hatching season, voluntary assistants set out every day to protect the nests. If necessary, they even relocate the eggs. Together with two adjacent resorts, the programme has already helped more than 50,000 baby turtles make their way to the sea undisturbed after hatching since 2012.
Sensatori Resort Azul, Mexico: Home-made Mayan jam
The Sensatori Resort Azul hotel in the Mexican peninsula Yucatán is not only a holiday paradise – it also supports the Mayan communities living in its surroundings. Examples include a cooperative of Mayan women supplying home-made dragon fruit jam to the hotel’s restaurants.