BleuTourMed, 05 July 2017 – Making tourism more sustainable is not any more an option but a necessity! The 14 Interreg MED – funded projects of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community are joining forces to make tourism more sustainable. As a community we are developing a common strategy and a methodology for joint actions to have a greater impact and outreach. The first joint public action we are taking is to contribute to the UNWTO’s discussion paper on “Sustainable Tourism for development”, launched in the framework of the activities for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
As a bunch of new projects will join our community by the end of this year, it has become even more urgent to consolidate a common methodology and a strategy for joint actions. For this reason our next event “Making tourism more sustainable! Sharing methodologies for a joint action” will focus on community building. It will be coordinated by Pantheion University and it will take place in Athens, Greece, the 4-5 October 2017.
As an Interreg MED-funded community we will also take advantage of the knowledge and expertise developed by the other seven thematic communities working on environment, low carbon economy and innovation. At the event “We are MED” organised by the Interreg MED Joint Secretariat in Alicante, Spain, on 17 May 2017, we had the opportunity to present our community’s main challenges and key features and to share experiences with the other Interreg MED projects.
In the meantime, our Community is moving forward. The 14 projects, which make up our community, are testing pilot actions, studying critical aspects of tourism, defining protocols and standards in measuring the impact of tourism in the Mediterranean, and they are also developing strategies to diversify tourist offer and to improve management practices towards a more sustainable model.
The first synergies are already taking shape and some projects are exploring potential interactions within our community. For example CO-EVOLVE has found common challenges and complementarities with other projects and it has also mapped the geographical distribution of all the projects’ partners (see the map here).
Some projects are in more advanced stages and they already producing their final results, others are at their inception and new ones will join us by the end the end of this year. In the meantime we are promoting our Community in international and national events to share our knowledge and challenges, to discover new possibilities and to extend our outreach.