DER Touristik Foundation supports new projects for community empowerment and environmental preservation


Foundation expands commitment to responsible tourism initiatives

The DER Touristik Foundation, the non-profit association founded by the DERTOUR Group in 2014, is proud to expand its commitment by supporting several new projects aimed at making a positive impact on local communities and the environment.

Having accomplished a portfolio of 92 completed projects, the Foundation continues to create a significant impact. Among these initiatives are 69 school construction projects, 11 education and training programs, 6 animal welfare projects, and 6 nature conservation endeavors.

Now, the DER Touristik Foundation is excited to unveil its latest projects, developed in close collaboration with local non-profit partners and spanning across diverse areas of conservation and community development. One of these projects focuses on empowering underprivileged young women in Vietnam. Through vocational training in the hospitality industry, the Foundation addresses the challenges of exploitation, trafficking, and marginalization that have been further heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Another significant project involves deploying detective dogs to combat poaching in South Africa’s Pilanesberg National Park.

The non-profit association is also dedicated to restoring coral reefs in the Maldives and protecting sea turtle nesting areas along the Turkish Mediterranean coast, actively contributing to the preservation of these vital ecosystems and endangered species.

The Foundation’s underlying goal is to establish self-sustaining projects that empower local communities through education, training, and active involvement. The Smiling Gecko project in Cambodia is a great example of their collaboration with local non-profit partners, as it not only provides access to education but also offers vocational training to empower individuals and boost economic opportunities for the community.

“Our incentive is to harness the power of tourism to protect the diversity of our planet, promote economic development in host countries, and to fight poverty, said Sören Hartmann, Chairman of the Management Board of the DER Touristik Foundation. “We afford new future opportunities to the people and animals living there. Because the world should offer everyone a decent quality of life. In doing so, we treat people, the animals and nature with respect. It is always a case of helping people to help themselves – very specifically, on site

“The Pilanesberg National Park (PNP) is one of South Africa’s premier tourism destinations and home to the Big Five. The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) works on the ground in reserves such as PNP to combat poaching and increase security for species such as the Critically Endangered Black Rhino,” said Cobus Theron, Conservation Manager at Endangered Wildlife Trust. “With much-needed support from DER Touristik Foundation, we can now deploy our certified and specially trained Conservation K9s and their handlers on a wider scale within the park.”

DER Touristik Foundation welcomes all those who shares their vision of creating a meaningful global impact to participate in their mission and contribute to these initiatives through donations. Each contribution plays a vital role in making a lasting difference that benefits both society and the environment.

For more information about DER Touristik Foundation and the projects it supports, please visit the website at

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Photo caption: Participant in KOTO “Her Turn” training programme in Vietnam

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DER Touristik Foundation e.V.
Through its activities and global commitment the non-profit organization, founded by DERTOUR Group in 2014, supports people on site, opens up positive future perspectives to young people, strengthens the role of women, champions animal welfare and contributes effectively towards nature conservation. In 2016, DERTOUR Group received the international World Tourism Award for its commitment. For more information, go to

DERTOUR Group has its head office in Cologne, Germany, and is REWE Group’s travel and tourism division. As one of Europe’s leading travel groups, DERTOUR Group encompasses more than 130 companies and employs more than 8,000 people in 16 European countries. Every year, millions of guests travel with one of the group’s tour operators or specialists. DERTOUR Group includes tour operators such as DERTOUR, ITS, Meiers Weltreisen, Kuoni, Helvetic Tours, ITS Coop Travel, Billa Reisen, Koning Aap, Apollo, Exim Tours and Fischer, as well as more than 2,300 travel agencies (such as DERTOUR, DERPART, Kuoni, Exim, and Fischer, as well as franchises and partners), the hotel brands Sentido, Aldiana, Calimera and COOEE, and the online travel agency Prijsvrij Vakanties. The DERTOUR Group also offers on-site support: The company runs an agency network with 74 offices in 29 travel destinations. The staff in the destination agencies assist the guests of the DER Touristik Group from their arrival at their holiday destination and until their departure. For more information, go to