When TUI´s Better Holidays, Better World sustainability strategy was rolled out across the business in 2015, the ambitious goal to deliver 10 million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays per year by 2020 was set. Data published in the latest sustainability report shows that this goal was achieved. 10.3 million customers stayed in hotels with sustainability certifications in 2019 alone, reaching our ambition of 10 million one year early. Over the course of six years (2015 to 2020), 43 million “greener and fairer” holidays had been delivered.
Hotels are the driving force for improving TUI´s sustainability performance in destinations. Every hotel plays a role in managing impacts on the local community, economy and environment. By “greener and fairer” holidays, TUI means one that includes a stay at a hotel which has achieved a credible independent sustainability certification. This shows that the hotel is demonstrating social and environmental good practices that meet global sustainability standards.
An analysis of 300 hotels shows that hotels with sustainability certifications out-perform non-certified hotels on environmental performance – demonstrating 10 per cent lower CO2, 24 per cent lower waste volume, 19 per cent less fresh water per guest night, 23 per cent higher use of green energy and a nine per cent higher employment rate of employees from the destination. They also deliver higher quality and customer satisfaction as data shows.
Based on these findings, the difference* between 43 million customers going on holiday for a week staying at a sustainably certified hotel verse a non-certified hotels would amount to the equivalent annual CO2 emissions of 144,000 cars, the annual energy needs of 108,000 households, the water volume of 10,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and a volume of waste that would require 15,700 waste trucks to transport.
"43 million greener and fairer holidays are a strong starting point for TUI Group's commitment to sustainability. They show: We take responsibility and we work on concrete solutions for more sustainable tourism, together with our partners in the
destinations. As an industry leader, we are able to set standards in sustainability and scale them globally. Our sustainability strategy for the coming years will build on these successes and drive impactful change. Ecological sustainability as nature and species conservation, as well as social sustainability – i.e. better training, education and life prospects for the people living in the holiday destinations – are equally important goals. We will present the strategy shortly," says Thomas Ellerbeck, member of the Group Executive Committee and Chief Sustainability Officer of TUI Group.
Setting the standard
Over the years many labels have been developed to help hotels manage sustainability. To make things clearer, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has set a standard for all certifications. The criteria are organised around four main themes: effective sustainability planning, maximising social and economic benefits for the local community, enhancing cultural heritage, and reducing negative impacts to the environment. Randy Durband, CEO Global Sustainable Tourism Council said: ‘’GSTC applauds TUI Group's efforts to improve the sustainability performance at hotels visited by their guests, and doing so through application of the GSTC Criteria, the global standard that we work hard to maintain as the most inclusively created and therefore relevant standard for sustainability in tourism.’’
To ensure high standards, TUI prioritises certifications aligned with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. Currently over 30 standards have achieved GSTC recognition or accreditation status, such as Green Globe, EarthCheck, Rainforest Alliance standard for tourism operations and Travelife. TUI is a strong advocate of the Travelife sustainability certification scheme.
TUI encourages all hotels offered to its 27 million customers to obtain certification that meets the GSTC standard. Sustainability expectations for accommodation suppliers are set in contracts. Hotels from the TUI Group's own hotel portfolio and the concept hotels have integrated sustainability into their brand philosophy and operational processes.
Supporting the journey
Each hotel is starting at a different point in their sustainability journey. As the industry leader in sustainability, TUI provides extensive support to its hotels and hotel partners to help them improve their sustainability performance and to pursue certification:
Dedicated sustainable accommodation specialists engaged our hotel partners on the benefits of sustainability certification and supported them through the process.
Support for TUI Hotels & Resorts and international concept hotels with sustainability training sessions and workshops, an online best practice sharing platform was launched.
An extensive programme was rolled out across TUI´s Group Product & Purchasing Team to engage and train purchasers on sustainability requirements for accommodation suppliers.
We promoted and participated in destination roadshows to guide hotels on the benefits of sustainability certification, partnering with Travelife for many of these.
* Estimated savings based on number of G&F holidays sold and typical performance of certified versus non-certified hotels.
Image Credit: © TUI Group
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