How can Mediterranean tourism contribute to sustainable and inclusive development of territories?
The challenges related to tourism in the Mediterranean require the definition of tourism strategies rooted in the local territories and enhancing economic competitiveness, social responsibility, and natural and cultural resources-saving.
A driver of economic growth inadequately controlled
Tourism is a driver for economic growth in the Mediterranean. Its key role in the future development of the region is often counteracted by certain negative effects in terms of sustainability, as follows:
Promote sustainability in Mediterranean tourism areas: a key challenge for Plan Bleu
Plan Bleu has focused on Mediterranean tourism challenges in terms of sustainability since 1989. For instance, after several programmes of activities focusing on Tourism, Plan Bleu defined in 2007 a list of indicators to assess and follow-up tourism sustainability. The programme of activities “Promote sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean” (2009-2011) was defined around four components:
For the development of sustainable strategies in Mediterranean tourism areas
The results of Plan Bleu’s programme of activity highlighted the need to:
In 2016, Plan Bleu launched new activities on the theme “Tourism and sustainability”. The Regional Workshop “How can tourism contribute to sustainable and inclusive development in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries”, organized in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD) in Marseille on 23-24 May 2016 helped to develop a shared vision and practical approaches for a renewal of tourism development patterns in the region, including improvement and diversification of coastal tourism, as well as key findings on public policies that promote balanced development of countries and destinations through tourism activities. In addition, Plan Bleu is drafting “Guidelines towards a possible Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Tourism”, sectoral declination of MSSD 2016-2025.
The Mediterranean is the first tourist destination at the global level, representing 28% of total international tourist arrivals in 2011.
Evolution of tourism in the Mediterranean: 58 millions of international tourist arrivals in 1970; 283 millions of international tourist arrivals in 2011
Projected international tourist arrivals in 2025: 637 millions of tourists, a 74% increase in comparison with 2000
Top 5 destinations: France (83.7 million international tourist arrivals), Spain (65 million), Italy (48.5 million), Turkey (40 million) and Greece (22 million) - or 83% of total arrivals in the Mediterranean (2014).