Precious water, Greece
Rhodes is the fourth largest island of Greece and lies in the south-east of the country. More than half of the 116,000 inhabitants live in the city of Rhodes, the touristic center of the island. Especially during the hot summer months where there is hardly any rain, water is a scarce resource on Rhodes as well as in the whole Mediterranean region. At the same time, the water consumption increases strongly due to the needs of the many tourists including showers, hotel pools, cleaning, cooking and plant watering. On the nearby Cyprus, 4.8% of the total water consumption is reducible to tourism.
By optimizing the water management in hotels the water consumption can be reduced significantly. However, most hotel managers and staff lack knowledge about potential water savings. This project therefore aims to provide this specific knowledge to managers and staff. In the initial project phase, “water footprints” are determined in 12 hotels on Rhodos. These ought to show the direct and indirect water consumption. For this purpose, water meters are installed in the kitchens, the gardens and the pools in order to inspect the water and energy systems and the flow rate of the armatures. Further insights are won through surveys of hotel staff and guests. All these measures serve to identify water and cost saving potentials and are combined in a water management manual, which shall be the guidelines for future responsible water handling. The manual contains advices concerning water-saving measures, a water management training for the hotel staff as well as information material for guest sensitization.
The main objective of the project is the understanding and reducing of the water consumption in Thomas Cook hotels in order to avoid conflicts with local communities. Moreover, other Thomas Cook hotels can optimize their water management by taking the basic conditions into account and thus reduce the water consumption in the tourism industry on a larger scale. Therefore, the development of a water management manual that can be used in all Thomas Cook concept hotels is important and helps evaluating, controlling and improving the water balance. Additionally, a training concept is developed, also in Greek. Local trainers are instructed to provide water management trainings in the hotels. After implementing all improvement measures, all participating hotels control the water and cost savings and make realistic benchmarks possible. The results are communicated to all Thomas Cook concept hotels.