The Government of the South Aegean in collaboration with the TUI Care Foundation have unveiled plans for the TUI Forest, a reforestation initiative set to take root on the Greek island of Rhodes. The new forest will be made of fire-tolerant trees, a much needed addition to the island after the devastating wildfires of the past summer.
The announcement of the TUI Forest project was made during the international management conference of the TUI Group, hosted in Rhodes at the beginning of November. The project, scheduled for implementation from 2024, aims to establish a forest made of native, fire-tolerant trees, marking a stride in sustainable tourism practices, in a collaborative effort between government, private sector and environmental organizations.
The new reality of climate change is here, and we need to adjust. Sustainability transformation becomes now even more important than it was before.George Chatzimarkos, Governor of the South Aegean region
The Governor of the South Aegean region, George Chatzimarkos, shared insights into the endeavor, highlighting the urgent need for climate adaptation. The TUI Forest initiative is part of the broader sustainability project, “Co-Lab Rhodes”, aimed at fostering environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability. “TUI Group and TUI Care Foundation along with South Aegean, together we plant the forest of resilience and regeneration of Rhodes”, Chatzimarkos emphasized.
Integral to the Co-Lab Rhodes initiative, the TUI Forest seeks to elevate Rhodes into a model sustainable holiday destination. “Sustainability is a top priority for TUI and was therefore also an important topic at our management conference”, said Sebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI Group.
TUI Forest Rhodes is part of the international TUI Forests program. The program aims to create forests worldwide, fostering natural habitats and offering visitors the chance to reconnect with the natural environment. “Forests are investments in the future. Their full impact on biodiversity and resilience unfolds over a period of decades”, stated Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation. “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.”
Furthermore, the TUI Forests Program allows customers in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands to support reforestation efforts by adopting a tree when booking travel through the respective TUI websites. Plans are underway to extend this initiative to TUI travel agencies, with other TUI markets working on their introduction