Profiles of sustainability in some Mediterranean tourist destinations

Assessing tourism sustainability in several destinations and providing the basis for a common methodological tool to promote a more sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean Basin.

Seaside tourism environmental impact and land issues

Environmental impacts of tourism are important: energy and water consumption that often exceeds production and supply capacities; inadequate infrastructure for the collection and treatment of solid and liquid wastes; urbanisation and artificialization of coastal zones and natural areas that profoundly affects Mediterranean biodiversity. The question of the articulation between tourism activities, urban development, land management and ecosystem preservation is raised.

Developing land-use planning

The thrust of urbanisation due to the construction of tourist accommodation and the massive development of residential accommodation have led to land saturation. In the north of Martil, on the Tetouan Coast (Morocco), only 12.5% of the coastline is still “natural”.
Tourism often has irreversible effects on natural areas:

  • the deterioration or destruction of coastal dunes by tourism infrastructure is reducing plant biodiversity;
  • urban development or drainage of wetlands has a negative impact on migratory birds;
  • water-related leisure activities are damaging aquatic plant communities, contributing to reductions in the populations of marine turtles, monk seals, etc.

Towards a “quality label” and a monitoring system of Mediterranean tourism sustainability

The approach “Profiles of sustainability in some Mediterranean countries” proposes to assess the degree of Mediterranean tourism sustainability in the areas, through a list of variables and indicators. This assessment helps territories to develop action plans to improve their tourism sustainability.
A commitment of local stakeholders to a charter in order to design action plans at the local level, or even a form of « labelling », could enhance the value of tourism and local products, and promote shorter distribution channels and the supply of accommodation facilities through local production systems.

Drinking water capacity in Djerba and in the Matrouh Governorate (2008)



More information

Towards an observatory and a "quality label" of tourism sustainability in the Mediterranean

Seaside tourism and urbanisation: environmental impacts and land issues