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Tourism sector is amongst the highest income generators in the Mediterranean. Leisure related activities make tourism a leading economic sector in terms of gross value added and employment. Tourism contributes directly to regional economies with sectoral synergies and strong multiplying effects.
Despite its economic and social importance, tourism development is exerting undue pressures on natural and built environment. These pressures may threaten the quality of life of local populations, degrade the tourism assets and, by consequence, affect negatively future tourism developments. Exploiting the full potential of tourism requires an innovative approach and sustainable basis. Therefore, effective strategies and targeted integrated actions should be developed and implemented across the Mediterranean region.
Created in November 2016 within the framework of the Interreg MED Programme under the name of BleuTourMed, the MED Sustainable Tourism Community has been renewed for a three-year period until June 2022 to make tourism a real driver for inclusive and sustainable growth.
Since 2019, five new territorial cooperation projects (LABELSCAPE SuSTowns, WINTER MED, INCIRCLE and DESTIMED PLUS) have joined the Community that now gathers 22 projects co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), almost 300 organisations (public authorities, private companies, universities, NGOs and international organisations) active in 12 European-Mediterranean coastal areas. Besides, two Strategic Projects, approved in October 2019, focusing on governance of sustainable tourism will join forces with the Community.
Most notably, the Community’s members are leading the development of innovative tools to monitor the tourism industry, they are studying and testing new tourism models and they are actively engaging policy makers and managers in a constant dialogue to make tourism a real driver for inclusive and sustainable development.
Plan Bleu is partner of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, French territorial antennaand Horizontal Angel of 5 projects: DestiMED, DESTIMED PLUS, Coasting, Co-Evolve and Alter Eco.
1. Enhancing attractiveness and tourism offer: Alternatives to mass tourism (sun and beach) taking benefit of local/regional resources: underwater heritage, culinary heritage, ecotourism in protected areas, mountains, fishing tourism, cycling tourism…
2. Addressing tourism pressures: Reducing the impact of tourism activities (water consumption, waste generation, management of tourists flows, carrying capacity) & circular economy
3. Strengthening planning and management practices: Measuring the sustainability and development of indicators and tools for planning. Integrated planning and management of tourism flows.
Through the Sustainable Tourism Community’s foreseen transferring processes, the community aims to replicate its most tangible outputs in other areas of the Mediterranean and achieve the maximum visibility and implementation with:
The MED Sustainable Tourism community is coordinated by DIBA – Barcelona Provincial Council (Spain), in partnership with
Policy factsheets :
II° Thematic Paper: Measuring tourism sustainability in the MED area
III° Thematic Paper: Reducing tourism pressures in the MED area
IV° Thematic Paper: Increasing tourism benefits in the MED area
V° Thematic Paper: Improving tourism governance in the MED area
VI° Thematic Paper: Towards a responsible and sustainable tourism model in the Mediterranean
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