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Rhodes Co-Lab: the project that aims to turn Rhodes into a sustainable tourist destination

The South Aegean Area and TUI Group presented the programme.

Tonight on the island, the strategy and action plan for the worldwide project to make Rhodes a sustainable tourist destination were unveiled. As the South Aegean Regional Governor, George Hadjimarkos, said in his presentation, this is a flagship programme that seeks to launch the island into a new age. He noted that this is a historic moment and that, with its execution, Rhodes would be the first sustainable destination in the world.

The event was named "The Rhodes Co-Lab Sustainable Destination- Strategy & Implementation Plan" and was hosted by the South Aegean Region and TUI Group. Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of our TUI Care Foundation and a member of the TUI Group Executive Committee, actually attended the presentation. It should be mentioned that the event showcased about 26 initiatives and actions that make up the plan for this endeavour.

Cooperation TUI Group - South Aegean Region

The Rhodes Co-Lab Sustainable Destination is a creative collaboration between the TUI Group and the South Aegean Region, bringing together key stakeholders and the local community in a destination, who will co-create solutions that essentially shape and design a Holistic Sustainable Business Model for tourism destinations worldwide.

The TUI Group/TUI Care Foundation and the South Aegean Region Administration, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rhodes, launched and inaugurated the Rhodes Co-Lab under the umbrella of the Greek Prime Minister and the Greek Government, aiming to develop Rhodes into an international beacon and model for the holistic sustainable development of holiday destinations. The Co-Lab will work with the local tourism industry, local and national stakeholders and international partners to develop and implement innovative targeted solutions in Rhodes through a five-year implementation plan.

The Rhodes Co-Lab project is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Green European Agreement to make the EU climate neutral by 2050, and is based on the alignment of the TUI Group's sustainability strategy and the South Aegean/Rhodes Strategy.

Together, the partners will actively contribute to the sustainable transformation of Rhodes with concrete actions, based on a holistic approach to the destination value chain. Furthermore, the partners aim to accelerate sustainable transformation beyond the borders of the island of Rhodes, as the footprint of the initiatives will be further enhanced when best practices are adopted in other destinations worldwide.

International Centre for Sustainable Tourism Destination Development

Due to the emblematic global project of The Rhodes Co-Lab and the needs for its implementation, it is planned to establish soon in Rhodes an International Centre for Sustainable Tourism Destination Development, where the South Aegean Region, the Municipality of Rhodes, the TUI Group and the TUI Academy, as well as local and international stakeholders, will participate with a key focus:

  • Observatory/Monitoring the progress of the projects
  • Education and training of local groups/local community, entrepreneurship
  • Education and training of other tourist destinations in Greece and internationally.

The Centre will attract national and international experts from the private sector, academia, administrative authorities/organisations and civil society to enhance global expertise in sustainable tourism transformation. Its operation will continue indefinitely, beyond the 5-year Co-Lab project, in order to have a long-term impact.

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