Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors both for Greece and for Cyprus. Touristic activities have increased dynamically in the previous years, with Greece welcoming 30 million tourists in 2018. Despite the benefits for both countries, this development also leads to higher energy demand and consequently, growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the hotel industry. Therefore, accommodation providers, mainly hotels, in both countries have turned their attention towards reducing GHG emissions and improving sustainability, through growing investments in accreditation awards and certification schemes. Despite this progress, tourism accommodations, especially small and medium-sized ones, have a high potential for additional GHG emissions reduction in Greece and Cyprus. For instance, an estimated 80% of Greek hotels have a maximum of 50 rooms, leaving them outside the scope of relevant regulations.
In this context, the Hotels4Climate project has been set up under the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Hotels4Climate aims at reducing GHG emissions caused by the hotel industry in Cyprus and Greece. To this end, the project wants to build capacities, raise awareness about GHG and cost saving potentials as well as suitable mitigation measures, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and access to the finance sector. Moreover, an online information hub will be launched to connect hoteliers and other key stakeholders. This platform will offer information and help share knowledge products, provide a virtual market space to extend the lifecycle of hotel equipment, and enable users to assess their GHG reduction potential through a web-based tool. Virtual tours through hotel rooms in this tool will demonstrate possible reduction measures and allow the calculation of corresponding GHG and cost savings potential. Through online and offline exchange opportunities, a robust network between the hotel industry and the financial sector will be established, resulting in long-term collaboration and the design of adequate financial products. Ultimately, the project aims to contribute to the Cypriot and Greek national climate objectives to reduce GHG emissions in sectors not participating in the EU emission trading system (ETS) by 24 % and 16 %, respectively.
Hotels4Climate is implemented by a consortium consisting of the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB), the Institute of Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE) and adelphi. adelphi has the overall responsibility for the development of the online information hub serving as an information network between key stakeholders, offering knowledge products and a web-based tool to identify and calculate savings potentials. Moreover, adelphi supports the partners in assessing the hotel market by finding best practice examples and business models in Germany and identifying suitable financing instruments for the Cypriot and Greek context. adelphi will also host Cypriot and Greek hotel representatives visiting selected German best practices and accompany German hoteliers on study visits in Cyprus and Greece.