The Municipality of Rhodes has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the Dodecanese islands’ capital. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Rhodes developed into a financial and cultural center of the ancient Greek world and is known worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Rhodes is a popular tourist destination in Europe.
UNESCO World Heritage Site - Old Town of Rhodes
Rhodes offers leisure activities all year round, from the island’s natural beauty to historical monuments and The Medieval Old Town of Rhodes - nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Rhodes as a Green Tourist Destination
Rhodes is emerging as a pioneer in implementing environmentally-friendly policies, aiming for sustainability and promotion as a Green Tourist Destination. In this direction, green electric mobility has a central role in the sustainable development strategy, followed by the Municipality of Rhodes, achieving the integration of the project “Electricity Actions of the Municipality of Rhodes and Supply of Electric Vehicles of the Municipal Transport Company DES RODA” as part of the Antonis Tritsis Program.
GSTC Destination Assessment of Rhodes
In November 2021, Rhodes Municipality, Kolossos 2047 (Development Organisation of Rhodes) and Promotional Tourism Organisation of Rhodes teamed up with GSTC and Green Evolution to assess the Island of Rhodes’s sustainability status and map out a plan for a future of sustainable tourism.
The destination assessments of Rhodes Island aims to provide benchmark data and find ways for balanced development of tourism in their localities. The assessment process began in November 2021 and involves three phases over five months - an initial preparatory phase of research and data compilation, the second phase of on-site assessment with stakeholder engagement, and a final phase of analysis and report.
“Our destination, as one of the most popular in Greece, has as a vision to become a real Sustainable Destination in the coming years, differentiating our proposal in the global market. Becoming a Member of GSTC, the Municipality of Rhodes is committing to that future and contributing to the National Targets for Greener, Sustainable and Resilient Destinations, initiating a route for acknowledging Rhodes as one of the top Sustainable Destinations in Europe,” said Mayor of Rhodes.
The GSTC Destination Assessment focuses on four main categories of destination sustainability: destination management and governance; economic benefits to local communities; protection of cultural heritage, community, and visitor well-being; environmental protection and conservation.
GSTC Welcomes Rhodes
“After a series of GSTC Destination Assessments in Greece, Rhodes, one of the most important tourist destinations in the Mediterranean area, is starting a great journey for evaluating its baseline of sustainability using GSTC criteria and methodology, focusing on a robust and well-designed pathway towards a future new tourism strategy. GSTC is supporting the transition to a more sustainable tourism model, producing tangible conclusions for next years’ tourism roadmap for the whole Mediterranean area that will be incorporated with the Municipality’s activities for Sustainable Development,” says Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Program Director for the Mediterranean.
“Applying the GSTC Criteria is to take a holistic and systematic approach to sustainable development and management, and we’re delighted to work with the tourism stakeholders of Rhodes in that regard,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
GSTC encourages NTOs and DMOs (destinations) pursuing sustainability practices in development and management of tourism, to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, as well as support local business to apply the GSTC Industry Criteria. Destinations can eventually aim for achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body as a sustainable tourist destination.