Sustainability for Sustainable Tourism

Travelling connects people and their cultures. It contributes to cosmopolitanism, mutual understanding and tolerance. Tourism also builds bridges economically: it is an important economic factor across the globe, contributing to employment and prosperity. Thanks to its consistent and rapid growth, the industry now constitutes one of the most important economic sectors worldwide.

Good to Know

  • In 2018, tourism contributed to 10.4 per cent of global economic output
  • Out of 100 employees in the world, ten have a job that is directly related to tourism
  • In 2019 alone, there were more than 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals recorded worldwide

But everything has its limits. These have now come to light, above all due to the consequences of climate change. This applies even more to tourism than virtually any other industry: cultural and ecological diversity in the holiday destinations and the well-being of the people represent the cornerstone of business success!

Sustainable development in the tourism industry

The Covid pandemic has slowed down tourism worldwide, highlighting the challenges and opportunities facing this major industry. Tourism connects cultures and nations, creates jobs worldwide and is a driver for sustainability in destinations. But it also requires mobility of the future, a resilient industry at home and abroad, as well as functioning disaster prevention and EU-wide sustainability labelling for travel.

We have published our complete position on “Sustainable development in the tourism industry” in this position paper.

Responsibility as an Opportunity

As an international travel group, we are strongly aware of the responsibility arising from tourism’s impact on the local population and environment. We need to protect the diversity of our earth and preserve it for future generations. This commitment also affords us with an opportunity: we want to actively shape the development of sustainable tourism in all areas of our company and align it with the future.

We harness the power of tourism to specifically advocate for more sustainable travel. This applies to the design of our products as well as the development of effective measures jointly with our partners, with political representatives and participants in the travel industry. We want to foster economic development in the holiday destinations while reducing our environmental footprint and negative impact on people and nature.

Our Strategy for Sustainability in Tourism

Sustainability in tourism is as diverse as the world we travel. This includes

Massai Frau

The promotion of local cultures

DERTOUR Foundation Projekt Smiling gecko Kambodscha

The creation of jobs under fair conditions

Nicaragua Regenwald

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by travel and

DERTOUR Foundation Projekt Mangroven pflanzen Sri Lanka

The conservation of nature in the holiday destinations.

Given the multifaceted nature and complexity, it is clear: sustainability cannot be achieved overnight. Instead, it is a long and continuous process of transformation that requires thought and cooperation from all those involved.

That is why we at DERTOUR Group have for many years been working with our service providers, in industry initiatives and together with civil society on sustainable further developments and improvements. Over recent years, we have implemented many initiatives and projects to actively shape a more sustainable tourism in all areas of our business.

We bundle our activities in our sustainability programme “DER Welt verpflichtet” (Committed to the World). Here we set strategic priorities to make an impact in our products and the entire value chain: Conscious Travel, Energy, Climate & Environment, Employees and Social Commitment.

Sustainable tourism is much more than just postponing towel changes at the hotel. It is about us reducing negative social and environmental impacts throughout the entire supply chain while reinforcing the positive ones. And it is a matter of being open to the countries travelled to and the living spaces, their people and cultures. Conscious travel not only promotes the much-vaunted economic growth and job creation, but also enables participation and inclusion of people with disabilities.

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We use resources responsibly and reduce our emissions at our headquarters, travel agencies and hotels. REWE Group Germany has established a central energy management system (EnMS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001, which includes DERTOUR Group in Germany.

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Tourism is a business by people for people. This conviction is also reflected in the relationship with our employees. DERTOUR Group offers them the opportunity to flourish, harness their talents and continuously grow. We value and support our employees. But it is not just about fair pay. That is why, among other things, we offer our employees flexible working time models that support them in reconciling their professional and private lives.


Beyond our core business, we also bear social responsibility. We want to live up to this responsibility in the less developed host countries with our charitable commitment within the framework of the DER Touristik Foundation. 

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