Tourism is the most important instrument for development and prosperity in many countries around the world. As a force for good, the industry is committed to shaping the sustainable transformation of tourism. What are the challenges and opportunities to implement the measures for future tourism? This question was the starting point for the first TUI Policy Talk, a new interactive event format, in which TUI brings together decision-makers and stakeholders from the industry to discuss policy issues of importance to the travel and tourism sector.
INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL DISCUSSION
For the kick-off panel on 30 June 2022, Valentina Superti, Director for Tourism and Proximity in DG Grow at the European Commission, and Charlotte Wwiebe, TUI Group Sustainability Director, gathered virtually. The session was moderated by Dr Ralf Pastleitner, Director for International Public Policy & EU Affairs at TUI.
TRANSITION PATHWAY FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Valentina Superti highlighted the tourism ecosystem as the key to economic growth and social sustainability in Europe. Although the tourism sector is slowly starting to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, it must be aware of upcoming challenges: “We are mindful of the necessity for the tourism ecosystem to become more sustainable, innovative, digital and ultimately more resilient.” With that, she referred to the Commission's Transition Pathway: the EU invites various stakeholders to commit and contribute to the long-term process of facilitating the recovery of tourism as well as addressing new global challenges. Superti continued: “One thing is clear: we can’t afford to postpone climate action and we can’t delay catching up with the digital age.”
This demand was echoed by Charlotte Wwiebe, who in turn pointed to the power of tourism as a force for good: “We are all excited and energized about the possibilities we have, to actively shape a sustainable future for the tourism industry.” She made reference to TUI's strategy to meet the growing long-term demand for sustainable business models in the tourism sector, which is also reflected in several new legislations from policy makers across Europe. Through three key blocks – People, Planet and Progress – TUI is preparing for this change, Charlotte added.
RHODES CO-LAB AND SCIENCE-BASED CLIMATE GOALS
With a new sustainability agenda and lighthouse projects such as the recently launched Rhodes Co-Lab, TUI aims to further its role as an industry leader in providing sustainable travel experiences. The Rhodes Co-Lab is a creative collaboration that gathers different stakeholders in one destination, where they work together to develop solutions for sustainable business models for destinations worldwide.
As another pillar of TUI's sustainable transformation, Charlotte highlighted the company's cooperation to the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi), which ensures that TUI meets its climate targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement in a scientifically verifiable way.