“The Rhodes Co-Lab”: TUI and Greece launch future laboratory for sustainable tourism

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  • The TUI Group, the TUI Care Foundation and the government of the South Aegean Region work together
  • Rhodes becomes the lighthouse for a sustainable transformation of holiday destinations
  • Fritz Joussen, CEO of the TUI Group: “Sustainable transformation needs partnership. Greece, the Aegean and TUI invite the tourism industry to work together to develop the sustainable destination of the future.

TUI Group, TUI Care Foundation and the South Aegean Region Government establish The Rhodes Co-Lab. The aim is to develop Rhodes into an international beacon for the sustainable development of holiday destinations. The Co-Lab will work with the local tourism industry and international partners to find concrete solutions and develop and implement them in Rhodes. In addition, a think tank will be set up on Rhodes to bring together international experts and strengthen and further develop the sustainability transformation of the tourism sector. The Co-Lab supports the sustainability initiatives of the government of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the South Aegean region and is part of TUI’s long-term sustainability agenda. The launch was marked by a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to discuss the Rhodes Co-Lab and its role in the international and Greek tourism industry.

All three partners are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, the Paris Climate Agreement and the EU’s goal of being climate-neutral by 2050. Holiday destinations play a crucial role in achieving the sustainability goals of tourism. Concrete first steps must therefore be taken promptly. Small changes on the ground can have a big impact if all partners work together. Together, the partners want, want and can actively tackle the sustainability transition – in partnership and in a practical way. They explained this at the official start of the initiative.

I think Greece is a country that is clearly turning a page. It leaves behind a decade of crises, of pain. And I think it’s a country that’s really keen to take on the challenges of the future. It is important to note that in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we are not only talking about environmental sustainability, but also about social and economic sustainability. And we will work hard to make this project a success‘ says Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece.

Tourism has many positive effects – it is a force for good. Without tourism, destinations lack investment and direct traveler spending. Without tourism, there is hardly any basis for economic prosperity in most destinations. As the largest economic sector in destinations, it also contributes to greater social participation. The Co-Lab can serve as a laboratory for sustainable tourism of the future and strengthen and further develop these effects. This creates role models and blueprints for other destinations. We invite everyone in the tourism industry to come together and bring ideas and innovation to The Rhodes Co-Lab. In this decade of sustainable transformation, the Co-Lab shows how a holistic approach to more sustainability can work – for the people in the destinations, for travellers, for the environment and for the tourism industry.“, says Fritz Joussen, CEO of the TUI Group.

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