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TUI Travel committed to making holidays greener

On Wednesday 24th July, 100 volunteers from teams across TUI Travel and local businesses spent two hours cleaning the beach of Laganas.

LONDON – To support Make Holidays Greener month, an industry-wide campaign run by the Travel Foundation, TUI Travel took a number of steps to promote the benefits of greener and fairer holidays to its staff and customers.

Greener holidays help to protect the environment and benefit local people in tourism destinations. They also provide tourists with a more enriched, unique and memorable holiday experience.

Throughout July TUI Travel, owners of Thomson and First Choice, promoted Make Holidays Greener month on all UK & Ireland flights and cruises, in 240 shops and in resorts. The main message was to encourage customers to get out and about on their next holiday by visiting the local town, buying locally-produced souvenirs or trying the local delicacy. This helps to spread the benefits of tourism to destination communities and can also give customers a more enriching holiday experience.

In resort, Overseas Sustainability Champions lead on activities such as beach clean-ups, local supplier evenings and green days.

One such activity was the Big Beach Clean in Zante. On Wednesday 24th July, 100 volunteers from teams across TUI Travel and local businesses spent two hours cleaning the beach of Laganas. Part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, the area surrounding the beach is home to marine life including dolphins, seals and loggerhead turtles. The aim of the volunteers was to support the work of the National Marine Park by clearing litter from the beaches and also to raise awareness of the simple steps that all tourists can take to protect the environment and local wildlife.

Opened by His Excellency John Kitman, the British Ambassador to Greece, the Big Beach Clean cleared a total of 3,000 litres of rubbish, of which two-thirds were recyclable. It also raised awareness among beach goers and locals, many of whom who were previously unaware of the National Marine Park and the sensitivity of the delicate eco systems it protects. Following the event, a number of the local businesses that participated have offered to provide funding to install recycling bins on the beach.

Jane Ashton, Group Director of Sustainable Development at TUI Travel, commented, “Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and is highly dependent on fossil fuel and finite resources. From a sustainable development perspective, we need to integrate environmental and social principles into the way we do business and we have been facing up to this challenge for over a decade. Make Holidays Greener month is a fantastic way to raise awareness of sustainability issues and initiatives such as the Big Beach Clean in Zante are a great example of teams from across TUI Travel and beyond working together to achieve our goals. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part.”

Salli Felton, acting Chief Executive of the Travel Foundation, added, “Staff at TUI Travel have always been among the most active supporters of the ‘Make Holiday Greener’ campaign and, once again, we have been delighted with the creativity and scale of their activities this month, both in the UK and overseas.”

TUI Travel’s stated vision is to make holiday experiences special whilst minimising environmental impact, respecting culture and people, and bringing economic benefit to communities. It has developed four over arching sustainable development goals underpinned by 20 challenging and measurable commitments – leading the industry and creating change at scale. TUI Travel’s Sustainable Development Report, providing a full update, will be released later this month.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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