Work in partnership to transform Rhodes into a leading example of sustainable tourism for the future, developing solutions which other destinations can then use as a blueprint.
The way a destination is managed is key to achieving long term sustainability. Small changes on the ground can have a big impact if all partners collaborate. In January 2022, TUI Group, TUI Care Foundation and the Government of the Southern Aegean Region announced they would work together to develop Rhodes into an international beacon for the sustainable development of holiday destinations.
The establishment of "The Rhodes Co-Lab" marks the beginning of a sustainability transformation with significance far beyond Greece. It is the first project in the world in which a top destination of this size is tackling its own transformation to more sustainability in such a comprehensive way. The Rhodes Co-Lab will work with the local tourism industry and international partners to find concrete solutions and develop and implement them on Rhodes. In addition, a think tank will be set up on Rhodes to bring together international experts.
As a top global destination, Rhodes offers the best conditions to test innovations for more sustainability in tourism and to understand their interaction. Here, all the components that make up a holiday are in one place. Hotels, airports, cruises, transfers and mobility, excursions: the complexity of the challenges is visible on Rhodes.
TUI Group, TUI Care Foundation and Rhodes have identified the areas in which they want to work with partners over the next five years. The project partners are focusing on sustainable growth for Rhodes that conserves resources and at the same time promotes the participation of local people, for example through new job opportunities. The protection of biodiversity and the environment is to become an even more integral part of destination management. Education and training opportunities will strengthen the participation of local people. The promotion of cultural heritage benefits the island's society as well as tourism. The ecological footprint of tourism on the island is to be massively reduced through new concepts for energy, water or waste management. In addition, the Co-Lab will advance modern mobility concepts on the island.
‘’Our joint vision for the Co-Lab is clear. We know what needs to be done. We will now bring the Destination Co-Lab to life. I want to invite all of the relevant stakeholders to join us in that endeavor – partners, competitors, the civil society. This is not about TUI or the South Aegean – this is about all of us. The challenge is enormous. But I have no doubt: Together we can create the destination of the future.” Sebastian Ebel, CEO TUI Group