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Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism Community

Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism Community

Author: UNIMED - Mediterrean Universities Union

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Created in November 2016 within the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, the MED Sustainable Tourism Community gathers 18 territorial cooperation projects co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and almost 200 organisations (public authorities, private companies, universities, NGOs and international organisations) active in twelve European-Mediterranean coastal areas.

Most notably, the Community’s members are leading the development of common tools to monitor the tourism industry, they are studying and testing new tourism models and they are actively engaging policy makers and managers in a constant dialogue to make tourism a real driver for sustainable development.
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The international debate “Fostering sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean region” was organized by the BleuTourMed project, that features the MED Sustainable Tourism Community. The debate took place in Brussels on October 9th, 2019, as a side event of the European Week of Regions and Cities. This podcast is produced by UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union.
The international debate “Fostering sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean region” was organized by the BleuTourMed project, that features the MED Sustainable Tourism Community. The debate took place in Brussels on October 9th, 2019, as a side event of the European Week of Regions and Cities. This podcast is produced by UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union.
Coastal and maritime tourism is one of the major sectors of the Blue economy, representing 5 to 10% of total jobs and GDP in Mediterranean EU countries. However, the national and regional policies to promote a sustainable use of the Mediterranean Sea have difficulties to take into account its full social, economic and environmental impacts. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to “coastal and maritime tourism in the blue economy” in an attempt to improve the governance of this type of economy and regulate this fragmented tourism industry, comprising a huge diversity and variety of stakeholders and actors. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
Public-private partnerships in tourism are implemented and manage to adequately promote their destinations. However, more is needed in particular, in terms of the involvement of the private sector in sustainable tourism programs and policies. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to the involvement of the private sector in tourism sustainability. A lot of questions are pending and the workshop will try to address some of them. Is the sustainability of the destination a purely public matter? Do the tourism activities’ impact on the territory and local community call for a shared responsibility between the public and the private sectors? The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
Tourists’ mobility, due to its intensity, concentration and seasonality, is affecting the management of the transportation networks of the hosts destinations. This is exemplified in the Mediterranean, where the coastal areas attract important flows of tourists. Consequently, developing sustainable urban transport plans is crucial in order to address the needs of both the residents and the travelers. It requires regulating and organizing situations of saturation, compatibility with other means of transportation and congestion of public spaces. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to “sustainable mobility in tourist destinations”. The objective of this workshop was to share experiences on how to manage the needs of tourists, the workers of the hospitality sector and the local inhabitants. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
The desire of tourists to enjoy and better know the destinations they visit, their nature, their culture, their history or their traditions, gives an opportunity to tourism managers to diversify the offer. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to the diversification of the tourism offer in a more sustainable perspective. Indeed, travellers are more and more eager to discover the multiple experiences that the Mediterranean can provide them, thanks to its coastal and maritime treasures. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
Tourists' pressure on the physical and social environments of their destinations is increasing, impacting both the habitat and the local communities. Re-fuelling the policy agenda requires new knowledge on tourism mobility, not only on the tourists’ use of local resources but also on their potential for thriving further developments. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to the tourism’s multiple footprints. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
The need to measure the impact of tourism is growing, inasmuch as sustainability becomes the target for tourism development. Data and knowledge-based management of tourist destinations provide the necessary indicators and monitoring tools to measure such impact. It allows, in turn, tourism’s stakeholders to adapt their behaviors and actions towards the sustainability of these destinations. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to “data and knowledge-based management of tourist destinations”. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
Tourism is a continuous transforming phenomenon, which explains why its evolution should be closely followed in order to find solutions to the growing tourism challenges such as overtourism. In the framework of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, that took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, a workshop was dedicated to facing overtourism and specifically the challenges it represents to sustainability, tourists’ experiences and local communities. The Convention was organised by the BleuTourMed project.
As Ecolabels and certification programmes are playing an increasingly important role in sustainable tourism, the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019 dedicated a whole workshop to “labels and certifications to promote tourism sustainability”. This workshop focused on the critical role and significance of certification programmes and ecolabels in achieving sustainable tourism goals. The workshop took place on June 6th, 2019 in Barcelona, during the “Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019” organised by the BleuTourMed project.
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