Travel and tourism bodies signed a landmark declaration on the Greek island of Rhodes this week outlining the actions needed to address climate change in Europe.

Associations representing the travel and tourism industry in Europe agreed during the two-day “EU Tourism: Resilience in the Era of the Climate Crisis” forum held on Rhodes this week to work together on a roadmap for a greener future with a clear focus on decarbonization, enhanced collaboration, and proactive engagement with policymakers.

During the event, sector stakeholders urged decision-makers ahead of EU elections to prioritize sustainable tourism initiatives.

Through the declaration, the industry calls for funding and policy support at both European and national levels. Key commitments outlined include comprehensive climate action plans, reaffirmation of decarbonization targets, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises towards adapting to environmental challenges.

Commenting on the news, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who also spoke during the event, referred to the importance of the declaration, “which brings together so many agencies and representatives of the tourism industry to highlight the most critical issue facing tourism today”.

“The climate crisis is here and it is testing us all. Tourism is no exception. With the Rhodes Declaration, the European tourism industry commits to a sustainable path for the sector and calls on the EU’s new leadership to support the sustainable development of the tourism sector for the benefit of the European economy and society,” said Alexandros Vassilikos, the president of forum organizer HOTREC and of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

Other European associations that signed the Rhodes declaration included A4E, ACI Europe, CLIA, ECTAA, EEIA, ERA, IAAPA, IRU, and Ruraltour.