Tui and UNWTO team up to invest in Least Developed Countries

Tui’s charitable foundation has teamed up with the UN World Tourism Organization to invest €10 million by 2030 in projects in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The partnership between the UNWTO and the TUI Care Foundation was announced during the fifth UN conference on LDCs and reflects a desire to “put LDCs at the heart of sustainable tourism development”.

LDCs are defined by the UN as “low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development”. As of November 2021, there are 46 countries on its list.

In a statement, the Tui Care Foundation said the Tourism for Development Fund would “drive positive outcomes in education, local entrepreneurship, support for artisans and creatives, and the protection of natural habitats on land and below water”.

Thomas Ellerbeck, chairman of the foundation, said: “Least Developed Countries have an enormous untapped tourism potential which is an important opportunity for their economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

“Together with UNWTO, we will foster tourism as a vehicle for cross-sectoral growth and create an enabling environment for founders and small businesses to thrive. Particularly female founders have a tendency to create more sustainable and digital solutions and thus deserve more support.

“We want to put destinations in LDCs on the global tourism map and examples like Cape Verde have proven: tourism is a global force for good.”

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili added: “For Least Developed Countries everywhere, tourism represents a pillar of growth and opportunity.

“Through the Tourism for Development Fund, UNWTO and Tui Care Foundation will provide vital investment for the sector, working directly with local stakeholders to deliver on our sector’s unique potential to spur economic development, protect culture and ecosystems and put emerging destinations on the global tourism map.”

Projects within the fund’s remit will particularly focus on “dual vocational training for disadvantaged communities, the conservation of endangered species, sustainable agriculture, protection of marine environments, empowering local entrepreneurs, creatives and artisans, and promoting sustainable investment”.

Targeted LDCs include Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, The Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.