Across the business we have been proactive in raising awareness of sustainability issues with our customers. To achieve many of our goals we need customers’ support both through the purchases they make and the personal actions they take. Sustainability is still not the major deciding factor for most people when they choose a holiday, but it is in the interests of our destinations and the environment that it becomes a strong influencing factor. We will therefore continue to engage with customers and aim to become their travel company of choice because of our sustainability approach as well as our quality of product and value for money.
We aim to raise awareness, influence choice, change behaviour, and develop and promote new products to encourage responsible holiday choices.
Our progress in 2008/09 includes the development of guidance documents on communicating sustainability and carbon offsetting; setting up a best practice sharing site for marketing colleagues across the Group; and developing a customer grading system to determine a baseline on sustainable development customer communication and drive improvements. TUI UK & Ireland, TUI Deutschland and TUI Suisse all launched brochures featuring exclusively greener products, making it easier for holidaymakers to make a more sustainable choice when selecting a holiday.
We plan to build on this work in 2009/10 by launching new brochures showcasing greener products in key source markets; developing an internal award to recognise excellence in sustainable development customer communication; and conducting international consumer research on holidaymakers’ perceptions of sustainability to inform our work programme.
Goal: All TUI Travel businesses will deliver good quality communications on sustainable development at each stage of the customer journey, based on robust customer research.
Board sponsor: Johan Lundgren, Managing Director, TUI Northern Region
"Fritidsresor was ranked as the greenest tour operator in Sweden by a consumer brand survey www.fritidsresor.sex"
In 2008/09, 85% of businesses were communicating with customers on sustainable development issuesii. We want to ensure our businesses are leading their source markets in sustainable development communications, driving demand for greener and fairer holidays.
We developed a guidance document in 2008/09, ‘Communicating sustainability at TUI Travel’, which aims to help businesses which are not yet communicating with customers on sustainable development issues and acts as a reminder for businesses who have already started. A best practice sharing website has been set up with businesses across the Group.
In April 2009, First Choice published Greener Holidays, the first brochure in the UK market to promote more sustainable mainstream holidays. The online brochure features only those hotels that have earned a Travelife award for their commitment to the environment, their employees and the local community, and provides an easy way for customers to make a more sustainable choice www.firstchoice.co.uk/greener-holidays. TUI Deutschland and TUI Suisse have set up TUI Gruene Welten (‘TUI Green Worlds’), a website to showcase environmentally-friendly hotels, nature experiences and volunteering holidays www.tui-special.de/TUI_Gruene_Welten_Web. Other businesses across the Group also identify greener holidays in brochures and websites. TUI Western Europe highlights over 200 greener hotels who have achieved sustainability certifications such as Travelife awards, ISO14001 and the EU Flower.
We give customers the opportunity to take positive actions to help mitigate the effect of their holiday on the climate. 74% of TUI Travel businesses currently offer a carbon offset to customersii. Groupwide guidance on carbon offsetting was developed, to help businesses understand carbon offsetting, the options available and how to choose a carbon offset provider. In 2009/10 we will develop guidance on communicating child protection issues with customers.
In order to extend and improve TUI Travel businesses’ customer communications on sustainable development we plan to develop an internal award to recognise excellence in sustainability customer communications.
"Green blogging – Easymarket has developed a ‘green thread’ to engage customers in sustainability blog.tui.it/tuigreen"
The aim of the Our Customer grading system is to make clear to businesses the extent of their communications compared to others in the Group, and to drive improvement in these efforts. Developed in 2008/09, grades are determined by the breadth and quality of customer communications on sustainability.
The charts below highlight the overall Group and tour operating Sector customer grades for 2008/09.
The results reveal TUI Travel businesses are at different stages of communicating with customers on sustainable development. To drive improvements we will develop best practice case studies and each Sector has set customer communication targets for 2009/10.
"Activity Sector businesses, The Adventure Company, Sawadee and International Expeditions all achieved an A grade in our Customer grading system
TUI UK & Ireland conducted online customer research with 800 Thomson and First Choice customers at the end of 2009, which revealed that 82% care about tackling climate change; 92% would expect their holiday company to be working to tackle climate change and support destination communities; 96% care about protecting the local environment and wildlife in the resorts they visit; and 73% would like to be able to identify a greener holiday easilyi. TUI UK & Ireland plan to launch a sustainable tourism campaign and microsite to illustrate the issues and highlight their activities.
Research presented in the Activity Sector’s ‘A Passport to Adventure - Industry Trend Report 2010’ showcased YouGov (2009) research which found that there is increasing consumer demand for authentic travel experiences, with demand for ethical and environmentally sensitive travel predicted to quadruple over the next three years www.apassporttoadventure.com.
In 2009/10, we plan to conduct international consumer research on holidaymakers’ perceptions of sustainability, surveying consumers in eight of our most important source markets (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia and the United States).
TUI Travel businesses request feedback from customers regularly and some offer the opportunity to comment on the environmentally and socially responsible aspects of their holiday. In 2008/09, 30% of businesses collected customer satisfaction data on sustainable development issues, an increase from 10% in 2007/08ii. A sustainable development customer feedback guidance document will be developed to help those businesses who are not yet collecting feedback on sustainability.
"73% of customers would like to be able to easily identify a greener holidayi"
"Demand for ethical and environmentally sensitive travel predicted to quadruple over the next three yearsxi"
Our 2008/09 targets
How we performed
Our targets for 2009/10
Extend and improve TUI Travel businesses’ customer communications on sustainable development
Group: Ensure that all of TUI Travel’s consumer-facing businesses are communicating with their customers on sustainable development issues
Partially achieved: 86% of businesses are communicating with customers on sustainable development issuesii
Group: 90% of TUI Travel consumer-facing businesses to communicate with customers on sustainable development issues
Group: Improve the customer grading system results - 60% of businesses to be grade B and above
Group: Develop an internal TUI Travel award for sustainable development customer communications
Group: Launch brochures featuring greener products in our key source markets
TUI UK & Ireland: Launch a sustainable tourism campaign and microsite to highlight sustainable tourism issues and activities
Group: Develop a grading system for customer communications and assess all TUI Travel businesses against it, to drive improvements in future years
Achieved: A customer grading system was launched and our tour operating businesses assessed
Share customer research on sustainable development from all our source markets
No specific target for 2008/09
30% of TUI Travel businesses collect customer feedback on sustainable development issuesii
Group: 70% of businesses to collect customer feedback on sustainable development issues
Group: Conduct international consumer research on holidaymakers’ perceptions of sustainability
Establish Groupwide guidance on specific customer engagement issues
Group: Identify additional customer engagement issues requiring Groupwide guidance
Achieved: Child protection was identified as an issue. See 2009/10 target
Group: Develop and communicate Groupwide guidance on child protection
Group: Develop and communicate Groupwide guidance on carbon offsetting schemes
Achieved: Carbon offsetting guidance was developed and cascaded
74% of TUI Travel businesses offer a carbon offset to customersii