July 9, 2019

UNIMED’s contribution to the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019 // June 2019, Barcelona


image(Rome, 9 July 2019) “Tourism is not reduced to economic benefits. It is a tool to promote development and growth, enriching the mutual knowledge that it promotes for travellers and residents” said Joan Josep Malras, President of Arco Latino, on the occasion of the first edition of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019 held in Barcelona on the 5-7 June. 

Representatives from UNIMED and its “SubNetwork on Mediterranean Tourism” participated and intervened in the debates of this Convention, that brought together 280 participants from 15 different countries. Participants to this key event, where over 70 speakers and 200 participants, from public and private tourism sector and relevant stakeholders, gathered, debated and proposed solutions for boosting future strategies and policies on key issues linked to sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean region. The participants and speakers successfully brought their contribution to the debate on the promotion of sustainable tourism, as a factor for sustainable and inclusive growth in the Mediterranean region.

The Convention, as the final event of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, of which UNIMED is an active partner, also promoted the encounter of its territorial projects with external actors and stakeholders of the tourism sector. They all participated in panel debates, workshops, roundtables and study visits, bringing different stances in the broader view of rethinking the tourism sector’s contribution to sustainability and prosperity of the Mediterranean basin. Here a moments’ collection video of the Convention.

UNIMED is the partner responsible for communication and dissemination of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, an Interreg MED Program initiative, which gathers 17 territorial cooperation projects, active in 12 northern Mediterranean countries and involving more than 200 partner organisations.

Most notably, the convention featured the contribution of Dr. Marcello Scalisi, Director of UNIMED, at the opening “Shaping sustainable tourism policies: views from the supranational level”, Professor Maria Gravari-Barbas, Vice-Provost for International Relations at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, contributing in the workshop “Facing overtourism: challenges to sustainability, tourists’ experiences and local communities”, and Professor José Antonio Donaire, Vice-Rector for Communication and International Relations, University of Girona, intervening in the workshop “Tourism multiple footprints: impacts on environment and communities”. Here the programme of the Convention for further insights.

“Tourism can be a driver for sustainable and inclusive growth for the whole Mediterranean region, southern countries included” affirmed Marcello Scalisi, UNIMED Director. “In fact, MENA countries welcomed 87 millions international tourists in 2018, who generated USD 77 billion of revenues in 2017, according to a recent study of the UNWTO – United Nations World Tourism Organisation” continued Mr. Scalisi “but to take advantage of this, MENA countries should develop their skills for a sustainable management of tourist destinations and flows; of course higher education institutions have a crucial role to play by promoting knowledge sharing and by providing opportunities for capacity building”. UNIMED’s contribution focused on the importance of capitalization and knowledge transfer, which is among the matters of its SubNetwork on Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism


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