Tourism has an enormous creative power that goes far beyond holidays. For travellers, holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. This is what TUI‘s 70,000 employees work for. But that‘s not all: where there is investment in tourism, income, education, infrastructure, medical care and much more are also generated. The local population benefits directly from this. In emerging and developing countries in particular, I experience again and again how tourism opens up new perspectives for the local population.
As a leading tourism group, we want to continue to use our influence to initiate sustainable change. Of course, this also includes protecting the environment and the climate. Thanks to our investments in the latest technologies, we are on the right track. Our airlines in the UK and Germany rank in 1st and 4th place worldwide for airline carbon efficiency. TUI Group already has one of the most modern cruise fleets on the seas, and we have further reduced CO2 emissions per cruise passenger night by around 12 percent from 2015 to 2018. Furthermore, our Mein Schiff new building ships ordered last year will be equipped with low-emission liquid gas engines. It is now important to expand the infrastructure needed on land, in cities and in ports to support this technology so that it can be used in many parts of the world in the years to come. Of the approximately 40,000 ships on the world‘s oceans, around 300 are cruise ships. I am convinced that modern cruise ships in particular are the source of innovations for the entire shipping industry that can lead to more environmental and climate protection on the oceans.
Environmental protection is wider than carbon reduction. For instance, we are experiencing just how great a threat plastic poses to our oceans. As a travel company we are particularly sensitive to this. We have launched multiple initiatives in our hotels, offices, aircraft and on our cruise ships to reduce plastic. To date, we have been able to remove 140 million single-use items of plastic. We will continue along this path.
The realisation of our sustainability ambitions is more successful where we succeed in engaging our customers and local communities in holiday destinations, and to this end our TUI Care Foundation is particularly instrumental. With more than 30 live projects, it works to ensure that as many people as possible in destinations benefit from tourism – for example through involvement in nature conservation initiatives, in the education programs of the TUI Academies, or by benefitting from our support for local entrepreneurs. Education and training are the key to change and the first step towards a better life for many young people and their families.
We make an active contribution to the transfer of knowledge and prosperity. And we promote the exchange between cultures when people meet on journeys and thus get to know the country and its people better. The world has changed, in many places relationships and living together today are more fragile and unstable. This is why the travel and tourism sector also offers unique potential here.
Our goal as TUI is to continue to play a pioneering role in sustainability. We want to use tourism‘s creative power to maximise the benefits of tourism. And at the same time we will innovate to minimise the ecological footprint of travel.
Chief Executive Officer