Under the Inside Futouris heading, we grant you a glimpse behind the scenes at Futouris. Here, we will be regularly posting pictures and stories about projects that touch our Futourists.
Travel agencies go green – Futourists present the ‘Green Counter’ at the annual conference of the German Travel Association (DRV) 2012 in Montenegro
The annual conference of the German Travel Association (DRV) in Montenegro gave its attention to the topic ‘Sustainability in Tourism’ within an unexpected intense discourse. This concern was underpinned by the declared belief of Montenegro in sustainability. Hence Montenegro is one of the first ‘Newcomer destinations’ for the German tourism market that makes an effort on designing a new tourism, which relies on the concept of sustainability from the beginning. First results of the host country’s efforts were shown at the annual meeting. The president of the DRV, Jürgen Büchy, sets a clear example with his supporting program of how he wants the tourism industry to put more focus on sustainability. Besides the ceremonial signing of the Code of Conduct of the UNWTO and a diverse congress program on the subject of sustainability, Futouris – sustainability initiative within the German tourism industry – played an important part in contributing to make sustainability come alive. Parts of making sustainability come alive were a reviewed and recommended pre-congress trip, which gave a little foretaste of how to create sustainable travel, a climate donation for the project “Carbon Neutral Island Juist” as well as the opening of the project “Green Counter”, made by Futourist Jens Hulvershorn (Gebeco and executive board of Futouris) together with Jürgen Büchy (DRV).
The Green Counter is a long-term idea, created by the former ecology committee of the DRV, to bring more green contents to the counter of travel agencies. By initiating and taking over the study group ‘Green Counter’ in the sustainability committee of the DRV, Prof. Dr. Ines Carstensen (managing director of Futouris) seized the original idea of the Green Counter and filled it with sustainability. Finally with the help of her overall control and conceptual drafts a complete program arose, which prepares travel agencies for sustainability. The modular design of the Green Counter enables each salesman to get started with that topic properly. Thereby they are free to decide whether they just want to inform themselves about why sustainability should be important at the counter, or if they want to experience sustainability life on journey to certain destinations by visiting a Futouris project or even working at the project for a while. Another option for travel agencies is considering to undergo a certification process for sustainability. The last level could eventually be the academic degree for a proper CSR-Manager, which can be gained through specially designed courses of studies.
The Green Counter is evidence for what Futouris does for the tourism industry: “individualized products” in favor of more sustainability initiated by the tourism industry (Futouris members und the patrons DRV and ÖRV) accompanied by the science for the tourism industry. Futourists are delighted that the project Green Counter obviously becomes visible and realizable within the tourism industry. Altogether the conference in Montenegro was a good achievement regarding sustainability in tourism.
Alexandra Beital – new chief financial officer of Futouris
Berlin/Juist, 3rd of july 2012. Alexandra Beital follows in the footsteps of Arne Kretschmer. The twenty-nine-year-old was elected into the executive board of four during the Futouris strategy conference in Juist. She displaces Arne Kretschmer, who dedicates himself to his professional responsibilities after three years of successful voluntary work at Futouris. Alexandra Beital undertakes the area of finances. Grown up in Wermelskirchen in in North Rhine-Westphalia she studied international business administration and made her first professional experience as a brand manager at the food producer ‘Schwartauer Werke’. In 2009 she changed to the management board of the family-operated travel agency ‘Lufthansa City Center Merkana Reisen’. Within the company of 30 employees, which is located in Remscheid and focuses on the business travel segment, Alexandra Beital is taking care of the areas personell, marketing and sales as well as strategic corporate development. Merkana Reisen obtained the TourCert CSR certificate in march 2012.
Alexandra Beital refers to herself as being a ‘tourism expert out of passion’. Her strengths are the organization of processes and to thrill people for their own goals. A clear vision distinguishes her work with Futouris: “I want to increase the visibility of Futouris within the stationary distribution segment and attract more travel agents to become members.” Executive board member Andreas Koch of Futouris agrees on that: “I am glad that for the first time an experienced travel agency owner is part of the executive board. Futouris knowingly set itself the goal to become more present within distribution to gain more travel agencies as Futouris members. The twenty-nine-year-old
Alexandra likes to spend her spare time with jogging in alpine landscape, dancing and travelling. Approached on her weaknesses, she laughingly replies: “Eating gummi bears”.
New Futourist enhances our office in Berlin
My name is Anja Renner and I am the new project manager in the Futouris office in Berlin. I studied business administration with the focus on tourist industry and worked among others for German and Ecuadorean tour operators for several years. As of now I am responsible for the coordination and controlling of Futouris projects. In case you have any questions, suggestions or any further remarks regarding your projects, please do not hesitate to contact me!
"I am Futourist because...
I want to contribute positively to the preservation of natural and cultural variety of destinations and I am really convinced that this can be realized through the dedication of all Futouris members".
The Futouris "Climate Shuttle" has landed!
The "Climate Shuttle" project is a cooperative pilot study conducted by students from the BEST-Sabel-University in Berlin, Thomas Cook, Futouris and the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT). The project aims to discover if an emissions-reducing combined guest transfer program on the island of Tenerife can be brought to fruition. Key considerations include sales, corporate branding, identifying what difficulties may arise and developing a plan to initiate the program.
On June 6th, after the five hour flight to Tenerife, the “Climate Shuttle” team arrived and met the first stakeholder directly at the airport. Next Sunday the students will accompany a shuttle bus as it traverses through the popular holiday island of Tenerife and ask the tourists and other potential stakeholders about the project. The managing director of Futouris, Prof. Dr. Ines Carstensen can already draw a preliminary conclusion: "A combination of guest transfers from major travel brands is one small step for tourists, but a large step for the industry. Futouris will also benefit by being able to provide decision-making materials to its members based on the thorough preliminary study conducted by the students from BEST-Sabel-University Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute.”
"Working together for biodiversity and nature protection!"
At the WWF and KfW symposium last week (May 24, 2012) in Berlin, the managing director of Futouris, Prof. Dr. Ines Carstensen, spoke on the amount of leverage wielded by the tourism industry that can be used to promote the active involvement of large private companies in sustainability issues. In particular, direct support can be provided to the field of species conservation. For example, standards for visitor-sensitization and specific guidelines for species protection may be introduced to protect species and habitat within national parks, to protect coral reefs or to promote sustainable nature watching guidelines for boats. Regulations to protect species can be integrated into the business programs of tour operators, which can also help provide programs with long-term financing. Futouris provides a bridge between conservation organizations and the commitment to sustainability initiated by the tourism industry. In this respect, Prof. Dr. Carstensen states that, "Conservation programs initiated together will raise awareness and can ultimately be implemented in the long-term.”
Futourist is the new president of the Austrian Association of Travel Agents (ÖRV)
Vienna, 23 April 2012. TUI Group spokesperson Dr. Josef Peterleithner (53) was elected the new president of the Austrian Association of Travel Agents (ÖRV) at the 52nd Spring Congress held at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna with the theme "Beyond Mediocrity.” He sees promoting the political focus on sustainability that has arisen in recent years the main focus of his work, including, "Even more attention to the attractiveness of the workplace - combined with a higher quality and training, the ongoing spread of technology and the topic of sustainability," announced Dr. Josef Peterleithner. With a degree in law, Dr. Peterleithner has filled many different positions in the TUI Group over the past 30 years. He was also a sales manager of Terra Travel, a member of the Board of TUI Travel and of TUI Austria Center Reiseveranstaltungs Ltd. In 2008 he moved to the TUI Austria Holding GmbH and now functions as the company spokesman.
For more information, visit www.oerv.at
Futouris Annual Meeting 2012 in Berlin
Every year on the day before the start of the ITB the Futouristen hold an update on sustainability issues and an Annual General Meeting. With fiery coaching, the renowned Swiss scientist Hans Ruedi Müller utilized the opportunity to help Futouristen agree on their sustainability activities. In a lively debate, the members discussed their own commitment to sustainability and the role expected from Futouris. Members experienced a taste of the current approach to find and develop Futouris projects as presented by the General Manager, Prof. Dr. Ines Carstensen. In addition to discussing individually sponsored projects, presentations for the biannual branch project were given by the PWN, the UNWTO, and NGOs from Africa, Myanmar and Mexico. After a mammoth session from 9 o’clock in the morning to 8 o’clock in the evening a representative of Öger Tours was quoted as saying, “Now I know what Commitment to Sustainability can mean. I absorbed everything like a sponge and enjoyed every minute.” “There’s no better way for an Annual Meeting to conclude,” said Chairman of the Board Andreas Koch.
Futouris in Vienna: CSR-Day - Holiday Fair in Vienna, 2012
Intense discussions and background talks about the sometimes not so idyllic world of tourism-- this was the theme of CSR 2012, which was held in cooperation with the Vienna International Holiday Fair, Naturefriends International (NFI) / respect and ECPAT Austria, from January 12 – 13, 2012 in Vienna. Futouris was well represented, including Peter Josef Leitner (TUI Austria), the Scientific Advisory Board members Nicole Häusler, Christian Baumgartner and Hans Ruedi Müller (right), Futouris Managing Director Ines Carstensen and Futouris Board member Jens Hulvershorn (pictured left). This year's theme highlighted the will of the travel industry to actively promote social responsibility by addressing issues such as human rights in tourism and the impact of tour operator business activities on the biological diversity at destinations they operate in.
Futouris Summit in Berlin leaves its mark
Immediately following the BTW Tourism Summit in Berlin's Hotel Adlon, the Futouristen began the climb to their own summit. The introductory keynote speeches addressed issues of sustainability in tourism from a national and global policy perspective and were presented by Gertrud Sahler, head of the Department of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Head of Risk and Crisis Management at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Jürgen Büchy, president of the German Travel Association (DRV). The following is a memorable quote from the President of DRV (and a patron of Futouris) regarding the importance of healthy environments for the travel industry: "It is the foundation for our business and also vital to our lives. It is our duty to encourage competition to promote environmental protection and social justice. Only together can we achieve our goals."
The central point of the event was the announcement and presentation of the new Futouris branch-wide project replacing “Whale Habitat Tenerife.” The new project supports the North Sea Island of Juist with an ambitious goal: Juist is striving to become the first carbon neutral tourism destination in the world. Due to its remote location and susceptibility to impacts from climate change, issues regarding environment and conservation have been a high priority on the car-free island for decades. Futouris proposes to expand existing conservation programs and create new programs to help the island reach carbon-neutral status.
Futouristen "paddle" through the Hamburg, the "Green Capital" of Germany – Actively involving the members of Futouris in environmental issues!
During the Futouris strategy conference in Hamburg, an exciting “learn by doing” experience was a highlight in the conference program. In addition to selecting Hamburg, the “Green Capital” of Germany, as the location for the conference and utilizing environmentally friendly travel by train, the Futouristen wanted to lend a hand and promote a sustainable activity in the city. After a short introduction and instructions, the Futouristen piled into canoes to paddle along a canal leading to the beautiful Alster Lake. The goal of the outing was to collect as much trash as possible from the canal waters, while simultaneously experiencing the joy of being outdoors and clearing the mind. After three hours of paddling the Futouristen accumulated three large bins full of trash. The end result included not just the enjoyment of a beautiful canoe tour, but also the awareness that a great achievement always begins with small steps.
The Futouris Sustainability Initiative Starts a New Campaign: "I am a Futourist..."
Futouris starts the year 2011 with the "I am a Futourist..." campaign, aiming to strengthen the outward image of the association, acquire new members and promote the communication of sustainability goals and individual projects. "With this campaign, we aim to increase awareness for the importance of sustainable tourism in our member companies, but also particularly in the travel agencies and thus also with the end customers", says Andreas Koch, Chairman of the Executive Board of Futouris.
From now on, well-known tourism entrepreneurs give Futouris a familiar touch and explain why they personally support the association's sustainability goals: Thus, Dr. Volker Böttcher, Chairman of the Management Board of TUI Germany, is "… personally convinced that every little step helps to secure the future and to preserve the beauty of our holiday countries and regions." Also Dr. Peter Fankhauser, Chairman of the Management Board of Thomas Cook AG, personally believes "… in the integrity of human life and its foundations. I spend lots of time in nature with my family and want my children to also be able to do so." Jürgen Büchy, President of the DRV and patron of Futouris, is a Futourist because "… I am committed with my association to the implementation of Futouris projects at the destinations, showing what can be achieved when a sector pursues common objectives."
Futouris in Vienna: CSR Days - Travel Fair in Vienna 2011
The theme of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also gaining more and more importance in the tourism industry. This can be seen, among others, in the discussions within the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the European Tourism Forum, and not least also in the media reactions to the first CSR-certified tour operators.
For this reason, the focus of this year's travel fair in Vienna, which took place on January 13th and 14th, 2011, was to inform and sensitise different stakeholders from the tourism sector about the subject with current panel discussions and expert presentations. On this occasion, the Futourists (Andreas Koch, TUI Germany – Chairman of Futouris, Dr. Josef Peterleitner, TUI Austria, Dr. Ines Carstensen, Management Board, Futouris) presented the new organisation of Futouris in collaboration with the internationally represented scientific committee. The newly introduced accreditation procedure was discussed, for securing the sustainability performance of Futouris projects, as well as the role Futouris can play as a tourist industry initiative. With a hearty praise on behalf of scientific committee, well-known NGO's and other relevant stakeholders from the sustainability context, Futourists are invigorated in continuing the pursuit of their objectives.
Futouris in Morocco - 60th DRV Annual Conference and 6th DRV German Travel Agency Conference
For the first time in its 60 years of existence, the German Travel Association (DRV) organised its annual conference in combination with the 6th German Travel Agency Conference in Morocco. In the surroundings of the Mediterranean city of Agadir, the DRV Executive Board elections also took place, where the former marketing director of Deutsche Bahn, Jürgen Büchy, was elected as the new DRV President.
During the three-day (November 25th to 27th 2010) sector event, Futouris had the chance to meet new friends and allies. Entirely new collaboration constellations with members and Morocco's heads of tourism arose within the framework of the exceptionally candid and lively speed-dating rounds. Under the motto: "The German travel industry – with professionalism in the future“, top-class speakers from economics, politics, research and education lead discussions and supported the event with an interesting and informative mixture of subjects. The sustainability and innovation in the travel industry theme attracted much attention through the granting of the 23rd International Environmental Award ("EcoTrophea 2010") to the Deutsche Bahn.
Personal experience, Fanny Calvo-Aguilar
InWent trainee from Costa Rica
"FUTOURIS: An organization that works to improve the world by developing sustainable projects”
If I was supposed to name my experience at FUTOURIS, I would definitely call it “A success story”. Why? Since day one everyone in the organization has been wonderful. The two most important aspects that I have learned from this organization is:
Commitment: All the people that I have met so far are committed to FUTOURIS's vision and mission. They all believe that we can work together regardless of who you are or where you come from, regardless of what language you speak or culture you bring with you. Everyone has a "Futouris Heart", which means, that the idea to develop and protect comes from the heart. Because of this, I know that when the FUTOURIS members decided to sponsor a sustainable project, they do it not only because is part of their job requirements but again, because is something that comes from their hearts. Our world is labouring under the pressure of human need, but when you see that there are people that still believe that we can have a positive impact, when you see that there are people who fight to protect the planet and it's biodiversity, it’s people... when you see all this with your own eyes, then you have hope again and the motivation to be part of such a great team! It’s contagious; you can't ignore the feeling to be part of something bigger than yourself because you can feel it in the people of this organization.
La union hace la fuerza: in Spanish that means “union builds strength”. After seeing that the FUTOURIS members work in companies that are competitors I felt even more proud of working here. For me it’s just unbelievable to see that they are all gathering their strength and energy to work toward the same goal, to have the same purpose. Here it does not matter that outside FUTO U R IS they all compete for customers…but in FUTOURIS they all believe in achieving the same thing; a safer world in a protected environment.
'Together more can be done than individually', If this is also your vision and you want to be part of contributing to such an idea, I can definitely recommend FUTOURIS as a partner.
If I had the opportunity to continue working at FUTOURIS in the future, I wouldn't hesitate… FUTOURIS “ROCKS”
The new office
Since the 1st of August, Futouris has its own office and thus also a new telephone number. Residing in the ground floor of the Schickler House in Berlin, Futouris moved out of the German Travel Association (DRV) office into its own space.
Here, strong women take care of the operative business and visions of Futouris. Dr. Ines Carstensen (Managing Director) and her current assistant Fanny Calvo Aguilar are the contact persons in Berlin, focusing mainly on projects in Spanish-speaking countries.