Rhodes, 03 November 2023

Reforestation project on Rhodes: Government of the South Aegean and TUI Care Foundation launch TUI Forest

  • TUI Forest with native, fire-tolerant trees to be established from 2024 
  • Reforestation project is part of the sustainability initiative "Co-Lab Rhodes" 

Rhodes, 3rd November 2023 

In close cooperation with the government of the South Aegean, the TUI Care Foundation is planning a reforestation project on the island of Rhodes. Native, fire-tolerant trees are to be planted for a future TUI Forest. As part of the project, nature-based tourism experiences will be developed for the local population and for holidaymakers. This will also create new jobs in the field of nature conservation and sustainable tourism. Educational programmes on environmental protection and sustainability are being developed for children and young people. The project will be implemented from 2024 and the details are currently being finalised. 

George Chatzimarkos, Governor of South Aegean Region, comments: “The new reality of climate change is here and we need to adjust. Sustainability transformation becomes now even more important than it was before. At the Region of South Aegean, we aim to pave the way towards tomorrow and the change we need. Our collaboration with TUI Group and Destination Co-Lab Rhodes can play an important role in this, as it is a holistic approach, covering not only environmental sustainability, but also social, cultural and economic sustainability. The TUI Forest is only a part of our Co-Lab strategy and biodiversity is our joint commitment to future generations. TUI Group and TUI Care Foundation along with South Aegean, together we plant the forest of resilience and regeneration οf Rhodes.”

The TUI Forest is being developed as part of the Destination Co-Lab Rhodes. The aim of this partnership between TUI Group, TUI Care Foundation, the Government of the South Aegean and the Government of Greece is to develop Rhodes into a sustainable holiday destination. The island is to become a beacon for sustainable tourism transformation, from whose experiences and implementation strategies other destinations will benefit. To this end, the partners are working closely with the local and regional tourism industry. The preservation of biodiversity and an intact environment as well as the reduction of the ecological footprint of tourism form an important pillar of the Co-Lab alongside social and cultural aspects. 

Sebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI Group, says: "The South Aegean includes some of the most popular holiday destinations for TUI's guests. Governor Chatzimarkos has impressively shown us that the region not only stands for a first-class tourism product.

Within the framework of Co-Lab Rhodes, exemplary work is being carried out here on the sustainable transformation of our industry. We are proud to be one of the founders of this pioneering initiative, both as a company and with the independent TUI Care Foundation. Sustainability is a top priority for TUI and was therefore also an important topic at our management conference." 

The TUI Forest Rhodes will be part of the international TUI Forests programme of the TUI Care Foundation. By planting trees, TUI Forests are created worldwide, creating new natural habitats and giving the local population as well as holidaymakers the opportunity to rediscover the natural forest environment. A few days ago, the TUI Care Foundation, together with the Balearic government, presented an extensive reforestation project on Mallorca. 

Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation, emphasises: "With the Destination Co-Lab Rhodes, we are pursuing a holistic approach to the sustainable transformation of tourism on the island. Forests are investments in the future. Their full impact on biodiversity and resilience unfolds over a period of decades. Our goal is to plant at least five million trees in TUI forests around the world over the next three years. Such initiatives show that tourism is a driver of positive change - today, in the medium and in the long term." 

TUI customers in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands can support the TUI Forests Programme of the TUI Care Foundation by adopting a tree when booking travel on the respective TUI websites. Tree adoptions will also soon be available for bookings at TUI travel agencies. Other TUI markets are working on their introduction.

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