BERLIN - People in holiday destinations whose livelihoods depend on tourism are particularly affected by the ongoing global travel restrictions. The TUI Care Foundation's Corona Relief Fund was launched to help them. With the support of local volunteers, food parcels are being distributed to help disadvantaged families in Mexico, Jamaica, Egypt, Morocco, Spain and on the Cape Verde Islands. The aid programme, which was made possible by customer and employee donations, will continue in 2021.
From Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, to the streets of Sal in the Cape Verde Islands or the once bustling Medina in Marrakech - the effects of the global travel restrictions are being felt everywhere. The economic consequences in holiday regions are enormous and are having a direct impact on the daily lives of local families. To provide rapid assistance and food security, the TUI Care Foundation is working with local partners to provide food, meals and toiletries for disadvantaged people. With the support of local volunteers and TUI colleagues on the ground, the aid has reached over 40,000 people. The initiative also involves TUI's local holiday infrastructure, with TUI jeeps and buses being used to distribute the aid packages.
Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation: "Many people in holiday destinations have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic and the travel restrictions. For them it is a matter of basic needs, which is the foundation of many families. In this unprecedented situation, the TUI Care Foundation is supporting families with aid packages, food and hygiene products. To make this happen, we’re working primarily either with local organisations or implementing our own aid projects on the ground. Many project partners, social entrepreneurs and aid organisations are joining us in finding creative ways to enable the timely distribution of aid packages, even under difficult conditions and without an established infrastructure. There is a common goal: we want to give people to know that, together, we can make sure the tourism infrastructure will survive, ready for when the Corona crisis is over. Because everyone wants to welcome tourists again and get back to their jobs as soon as possible."
To maximise food distribution, the TUI Care Foundation is working with local organisations as much as possible. Some creative approaches have also been developed to make this happen. For example, the non-profit organisation Pikala Bikes in Morocco has quickly adapted its business model to help local people. The organisation usually offers tourists sustainable bicycle tours of Marrakesh and Agadir and provides disadvantaged young people with training and job prospects. But for the TUI Care Foundation Corona Relief activities, the bicycles and trailers are now used to transport food packages. This not only makes the sustainable supply of food in hard-to-reach areas possible, but also secures jobs at Pikala whilst tourism is at a standstill.
On the east coast of Egypt in Hurghada, a team of former TUI employees and local volunteers are helping to distribute food packages. Here, the food and hygiene products are delivered directly to the doorstep in TUI vehicles to help disadvantaged families.
In the holiday resort of Playa del Carmen on the east coast of Mexico, TUI employees and volunteers are working with local charities to provide the community with food and aid packages. The TUI Care Foundation has also created vocational training and educational opportunities to help disadvantaged local people to get back on their feet after the pandemic.
The island of Sal in Cape Verde has also been massively affected by the slump in tourism. The TUI Care Foundation and local charity CSD Foundation are helping on the ground with a large team of helpers from the local community and former TUI employees. Another aid project was recently launched in Jamaica in cooperation with the Rockhouse Foundation. Projects in Spain will start in the next few weeks, for example in Mallorca and Tenerife - two tourist regions where people are also particularly affected by the travel restrictions and lack of tourism.
Ian Chapman, Chief Operations Officer at TUI Musement: "In these difficult times, aid in holiday destinations is more important than ever. Providing relief packages not only supports families in holiday destinations in an existential emergency, but also creates jobs and even a community of volunteers in times of crisis. We are pleased to be able to support the TUI Care Foundation's Corona Relief campaign with our teams on the ground and with our infrastructure."
The initiative is part of the TUI Care Foundation's Corona Relief Fund to support people in holiday destinations. The programme also includes the 100 Helping Hands initiative, which supports local aid organisations in holiday regions to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on the ground. In addition, the TUI Care Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Relief Programme for Tourism together with its partner enpact, to support new, innovative tourism companies through the Corona crisis with financial support and business mentoring. The COVID-19 Relief Programme for Tourism is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.