Although the tourism industry offers significant and in many cases the largest financial contribution to the local community, the ever-increasing number of tourists flocking to an area inevitably burden the environment. In particular, according to the WWF report “The Holiday Plastic Choking Our Oceans” published in 2018, the percentage of plastic waste in the Mediterranean is increasing by 40% in the summer months, demonstrating how closely the tourism industry is linked to environmental pollution. Based on these percentages and mitigation, Thomas Cook has designed a range of activities and activities in hotels he manages to promote sustainable tourism,
Being a company that is fully aware of environmental pollution and committed to sustainability, Thomas Cook has set out to exclude the use of plastics in its hotels while also undertaking other actions related to recycling and saving energy or water. In this context, it presented its new campaign, #noplaceforplastic (“no plastic space”), to remove disposable plastic to as many channels as possible in its logistics chain, its hotel units and its airline , starting from disposable straws and mixers, replacing them with viable alternatives. The company, in addition, will work with the competent bodies of the areas in which it operates,
According to a company survey, more than a fifth of its customers say they are more likely to throw plastic than recycle during their holiday. Thus, a pilot project, starting from Rhodes, was set up to raise awareness of environmental protection during their holidays, as well as to promote a new way of recycling and reuse of plastic objects in a search effort new, alternative and interesting ways of using used plastics.
The pilot project is being held for the first time at Sunwing Kalithea, Rhodes, where three plastic collection points will be formed for recycling for the summer. The 12 hotels operated by Thomas Cook on the island have a dedicated team of people working to maintain and enhance the sustainability of the hotels. The company chose to launch this particular project in Rhodes, as the island has limited recycling facilities and therefore there is an urgent need to develop solutions that will transfer the plastics to specialized recycling plants instead of following the course of the rest of the waste.
In this context, Thomas Cook started a pioneering collaboration with Wyatt and Jack designers who are going to create beach bags and holiday accessories, reusing the inflated marine mattresses and the cracked children’s life jackets (brooches) of holidaymakers gathered by collection points at Sunwing Kalithea, as every week about 15 inflatable hotels are forgotten. Designers are going to turn the damaged plastic into a modern accessory that can be used again as a new one. In addition to this program, plastics reduction activities will follow in all Thomas Cook hotels in Rhodes during the summer season of 2019. These actions will include the promotion of water renewal,
One of Thomas Cook’s first goals is to remove 70 million disposable plastic – equivalent to 3,500 suitcases – over the next 12 months. These plastics will come from the company’s hotels and airplanes, but also from its customers who enjoy their stay at Thomas Cook’s hotel units.
Already, most of the hotel’s proprietary hotel units are closely following the commitment to sustainability, with one of the largest hotels in the Sunwing Kallithea Group, already emerging as the world’s first “eco” hotel in 2003, worthy of the European mark Eco – Label. The hotel units operating under the umbrella of the group have adopted the Travelife Sustainability System, which aims to promote sustainable practices in the travel and tourism industry. Travelife is a certification tool recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which caters to hoteliers to improve the social, economic and environmental impact, and provides online training and tools for planning, management and reporting to improve the sustainability of business practices of tourism businesses. Registered hotels are controlled on the basis of 163 different criteria including environmental management, employee and customer engagement, local procurement and human rights. Thomas Cook has incorporated this system into its hotel policy, contributing significantly to sustainable development and the environmental and cultural protection of destinations where it operates. local supplies and human rights. Thomas Cook has incorporated this system into its hotel policy, contributing significantly to sustainable development and the environmental and cultural protection of destinations where it operates. local supplies and human rights. Thomas Cook has incorporated this system into its hotel policy, contributing significantly to sustainable development and the environmental and cultural protection of destinations where it operates.
In addition, Thomas Cook has formed a different supply chain, which is made up of large and small businesses and individuals, with the aim of offering its customers unique vacation experiences by working closely to develop the services and standards they expect. For this reason, the company has compiled a Code of Conduct for Suppliers, which defines the expectations and demands of the suppliers with whom it works to work ethically and reduce their environmental impact.
After all, the issue of environmental pollution from plastic affects more than 90% of customers, according to a survey conducted by Thomas Cook, with two-thirds saying they are more likely to turn to a travel company that follows a serious program to reduce the use of plastic articles and one-third to indicate that litter on a beach affects their decision whether to re-visit the destination.
Mrs. Mina Splaguna Zachari, Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts, Director of Sustainability, Hygiene and Safety, said: “For us, having begun to adopt practices of sustainability and environmental protection since the 1990s, good practice has now been incorporated into the daily our function and daily operation needs monitoring from all sides, as “we can not reduce what we can not count”.