Hoteliers in the Famagusta region recently attended a workshop led by plastic reduction experts as part of the ‘Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic Free’ project.
The workshop examined the challenges the hotel industry faces in reducing the consumption of single-use plastics while outlining simple practices that hotels can apply to achieve this goal.
On July 3, new EU regulation will come into force banning single-use plastics, so the workshop was specifically designed to prepare hotels in anticipation of this change.
Travel Without Plastic, a social enterprise helping hotels reduce the use of single-use plastics, presented solutions that have been successfully applied in hotels, both abroad and in Cyprus and suggested a plan of action.
“Hotels that are successful at reducing single-use plastic have a range of things in common, probably the most important being a clear vision of what they want to achieve and a framework that motivates staff and guests to take action,” representative Jo Hendrix said.
In their webinar they outlined the environmental and financial benefits for hotels making this change, which could entail a potential increase in customer satisfaction, as consumers continue to expect more sustainable and responsible options from travel businesses.
In addition, it was shown that a growing number of tourists are leaving public complaints on review sites about the excessive use of plastic by hotels and tour operators.
The webinar was very constructive and offered hoteliers a variety of actions to follow, Nikos Kleftis of the Louis Althea Beach Hotel said. “It is now up to us to rethink and react”.
Similarly, Elli Papapetrou from Altantica Sancta Napa said that it was wonderful to see how many hotels are joining this initiative.
“Let’s provide our teams with the necessary tools and train them in understanding the benefits in every spectrum. With innovative ideas, persistence and consistency we can all reach our desired intentions,” she said.
The ‘Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free Project’ is an initiative of the TUI Care Foundation in partnership with the Travel Foundation and the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) and aims to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics in the tourism industry in the Famagusta region.
Along with over 40 hoteliers, the workshop was attended by representatives of the deputy ministry of tourism, hotel owners associations, the environment commissioner, the University of Nicosia and other organised groups.