Through excursions, holidaymakers discover new places, learn about local traditions and products, and can enjoy local cuisine in authentic settings. But they are not only a great way to discover a destination. They are also an important tool to provide additional opportunities for local communities to benefit from tourism. Research shows* that tourists' discretionary spending has significant local impact. As part of TUI Group's sustainability strategy Better Holidays, Better World, the TUI Collection portfolio was launched in 2014. These unique, authentic and responsible excursions visiting destination highlights have sustainability at their heart, benefiting local communities and minimizing environmental impact.
Since 2015, customers have experienced 5 million TUI Collection excursions, from 0.5m excursions delivered in 2015 to a peak of 1.2m excursions in 2019. In the last full operating Summer (2019), differentiated excursions such as TUI Collection were particularly popular with European guests. More than half of the products that made it into the top 100 of the best-selling excursions and activities came from this segment. TUI Collection excursions dominated the top 10 excursions of the season. TUI plans to build on these achievements, with guests able to directly book TUI Collection excursions through all TUI distribution channels, including the website and app, and many differentiated experiences available to an expanded audience via different B2B partners.
The TUI Collection portfolio gives guests a true taste of each destination – unique, authentic and responsible. Each TUI Collection excursion must be exclusive to TUI and meet specific criteria for sustainability, e.g. suppliers must manage their environmental impacts, include visits to protected areas or cultural attractions on their excursions where possible, offer local cuisine and the opportunity to buy local products. Furthermore, fair employment practices, the protection of children and animal welfare guidelines must be ensured.
TUI provided training to destination-based employees around the world on the TUI Collection concept and criteria. In addition, TUI´s sustainability team worked with existing suppliers as well as new suppliers to bring to life the TUI Collection concept supporting them to improve the sustainability aspects of their offerings. Today, sustainability aspects are part of every contract with an excursion supplier.
* Measuring tourism’s impact study
Examples of TUI Collection excursions
TURTLE KIDS, GREECE
An experience to spot loggerhead turtles in the wild, with a boat ride to Turtle Island, a favourite nesting spot. Environmental experts teach children about ocean and turtle conservation through lots of fun activities.
LANZAROTE VOLCANO BBQ & WINERY TOUR, SPAIN
Within the lunar landscapes of the Timanfaya National Park – a UNESCO Biosphere reserve – visitors can sample local wines at a historic winery and dine at a locally owned restaurant where dinner is cooked on geothermal grills powered by the volcano.
EASTERN MADEIRA, PORTUGAL
In the forested interior of Madeira, customers take a Levada walk to learn about the local area, catch their own lunch from the lake, eat alfresco and contribute to environmental protection by planting a tree.
COBA MAYAN RUINS TOUR, MEXICO
Developed with the Mayan community, guests visit the historic Mayan site of Coba, a Mayan village, shop for local handmade products, and dine at a local restaurant, bringing benefits to 130 families.