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Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean: contributing to draft policy recommendations

Report of the participation of UNIMED in the MED Sustainable Tourism Community Workshop #1 // Marseille, 20-21 November 2018.

UNIMED is partner of the BleuTourMed project that, since November 2016, works transversally to coordinate the activities of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, which gathers 17 territorial cooperation projects, 200 partners organisations in 13 European Mediterranean countries.

BTM marseille

The Mediterranean region attracts millions of travelers every year, tourism generates almost 11% of the regional GDP and 12% of the employment. However, the consequences of this industry on the environment and the socio-economic fabrics are severe. UNIMED via its participation to the Interreg MED project BleuTourMed and the creation of its SubNetwork of Universities on Tourism is actively engaged in making of tourism a real driver for sustainable development.

On November 20 and 21 in Marseille, UNIMED participated to the “MED Sustainable Tourism Capitalisation Workshop #1” to draft policy recommendations to promote sustainable coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean region. The event was organised in the framework of the Interreg MED Project BleuTourMed, whose UNIMED is the partner leading the communication, and hosted by Plan Bleu UNEP MAP, the Regional Activity Centre of Mediterranean Action Plan.

The workshop allowed the creation of four thematic Working Groups open to the contributions of other Interreg MED Communities, experts and tourism sector stakeholders. As main result of the two-day workshop, participants defined clearly the political targets and the key messages to be put forward, by sharing the results achieved so far by their projects and their capitalisation strategies.

The MED Sustainable Tourism Community is currently working on four thematic Working Groups facilitated by external experts and coordinated by BleuTourMed project partners, such as:

WG 1: Monitoring the sustainability of tourism: what are the knowledge gaps of policy-making processes? How to bridge the data gaps on tourism?

WG 2: Reducing the environmental-cultural-social impacts of tourism in the Mediterranean region

WG 3: Tourism as a strategic driver for a sustainable and responsible economic growth and prosperity in the Mediterranean region

WG 4: Governance mechanisms to engage and to include a wide variety of stakeholders in a more sustainable and responsible tourism.

Since November 2016 the BleuTourMed project works transversally to coordinate the activities of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, which gathers 17 territorial cooperation projects, 200 partners organisations in 13 European Mediterranean countries. The BleuTourMed partnership is coordinated by Arco Latino, a network of local public authorities based in Tarragona (Spain), in partnership with UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union (Rome), University of Panteion (Athens), Plan Bleu UNEP MAP, the Regional Activity Centre of Mediterranean Action Plan (Marseille), Barcelona Provincial Council (Barcelona) and Adriatic and Ionian Euroregion (Pula).

UNIMED is very much involved in the Interreg MED Programme, a territorial cooperation framework programme that promotes projects co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Since November 2016, UNIMED is partner in the three Interreg MED projects: BleuTourMed, GO SUMP and PANACeA, under the umbrella Programme Interreg MED, which is fostering transnational cooperation among territorial entities.

With a role specialising in communication and knowledge management, UNIMED is a partner with a strong commitment towards sustainable development issues and with a solid expertise in matters of Blue Growth (BlueMed) and Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean, thanks to its academic subnetworks, that allowed its contribution also during the working groups activities in Marseille.

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