Alumnus Guido Klep: A coordinator Sustainable Tourism working for a large Tour Operator

I am coordinator sustainable tourism at the tour operator TUI Netherlands. My tasks focus on maintaining/stimulating supplied accommodations of the company to be sustainable. TUI Netherlands has set objectives for the future concerning the supply of accommodations, and it will be partly my task to support the achievement of these objectives. My main responsibility is therefore to make and implement a strategy regarding the start/continuation of the sustainable ‘journey’ for accommodations that are being offered by TUI Netherlands. For example: I learn a lot about Travelife, a well-known sustainability label for tour operators and accommodations.

As part of a major tourism company I am able to see how sustainability/sustainable development and customer demands are at the base of corporate social responsibility

Role of MLE in Career Development

MLE has given me the broader comprehension of what tourism is, and what the developments concerning sustainable tourism were/are. As I am now more working ‘in the field’, or ‘in the business’, I can make use of the ‘bigger picture’ that MLE has provided. Yet I must say that the tourism business is something different than looking at tourism from an academic perspective. If there are sustainable changes/transitions necessary in tourism, I believe a lot can be achieved from within the business.

Key Turning Points Career

So far I can say little about this as I just graduated recently. Nevertheless, I have always been a major proponent of sustainability and sustainable thinking. This turning point of where I wanted to go, or at least in which direction I wanted to develop myself, already surfaced during my studies in Wageningen.

Strategic Choices Made

As part of my search towards implementing more sustainability in my programme, and implementing my large interest in renewable energy, I included an optional (beta) course about renewable energy in my program. I also dedicated my thesis on a subject that included a sort of interaction between tourism, sustainability, and renewable energy. Because of these choices I have gained more understanding of some technical aspects (in this case renewable energy) that I can use in certain parts of my responsibilities here at TUI NL. This gives me some additional knowledge when things become more technical.

Advice for Future Graduates

What has worked out for me is that you invest in those topics that are related to leisure/tourism in which your main interest lies. This meant for me that I aligned my thesis to this interest, I did an extra course outside of the main programme, and I tried to look for those people/teachers that might be of support.