The International Workshop 'Towards Sustainable Coastal and Maritime Tourism Communities' held recently at the European Parliament in Brussels, in the framework of the Interreg MED Project MITOMED+ (Models of Integrated Tourism in the MEDiterranean Plus), concluded with a renewed call for community participation to improve the sustainability performance of coastal and maritime destinations.
The participants. The event was attended by more than 150 destination managers, professionals and regional policy makers, representatives from the academic and private sectors, as well as well as representatives from the main European Institutions and the World Tourism Organisation. It was an opportunity to share existing good practices, expertise and inspiration to achieve sustainable Coastal and Maritime Tourism in the Mediterranean and beyond.
A NECSTouR Event. As partner of MITOMED+ Project - together with other of its members, as the Tuscany Region (leader,), Andalusia, CNR-IBIMET, Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč and the University of Girona - and one of the most important European Regional Networks devoted to Tourism and Maritime Affairs, NECSTouR was co-organising this event together with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).
The morning session has been hosted by Member of the European Parliament Mr Ivan JAKOVČIĆ, to present the main outcomes of the project up to know: the Set of Indicators to measure and the Benchmarking Platform to develop evidence based Tourism Policies.
The afternoon session has been organised in the frame of the European Parliament Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (SEARICA), giving the opportunity to have a discussion between the members of the European Parliament, European Commission, Destination managers and policy makers on existing good practices that can inspire the set-up cooperation to develop Sustainable Coastal and Maritime Tourism Communities.
NECSTouR Model. As underlined indeed by Mr Jan KORTHOUDT, Vice-President of NECSTouR “Our motto is ‘If you want to Go Far, Go Together’. That is why we need to work more and more together, building a Community on Coastal and Maritime Tourism of Europe, and in synergy with the European Regions cooperating in close contact to develop a Competitive and Sustainable Tourism.” Video of his intervention
The European Networks will not skimp their support. As stressed by Mrs Eleni MARIANOU, CPMR Secretary General: “We strongly support MITOMED+, which capitalises on regional expertise and develops tools and policy recommendations in order to achieve sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean and beyond”.
Various Members of European Parliament - from different intergroups, political parties and countries - brought their political messages and agreed on the necessity for greater cooperation at the European level to achieve sustainable coastal and maritime tourism.
Mr Ivan JAKOVČIĆ - Hosting Member of the European Parliament of the morning session - spoke of his Region, Istria (Croatia) as an example to follow: “Already 20 years ago we built our tourism strategy around the sustainable development of our territory. Today, thanks to this work, the Region can offer not only sun and sea, but also a well-balanced range of products.” Video of his intervention
Mr István UJHELYI, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee of Transport and Tourism and Chairman of the Tourism Task Force, echoed these words and added: “We have to realise how important the tourism sector is for the European Economy; this requires a bigger support from the European Institutions. This is why I am here today.” Video of his intervention
Mr Tonino PICULA - Vice-Chair of SEARICA - spoke about Intergroup’s work - in particular for the islanders - at the European Parliament: “The new Secretariat for the Islands started in June implementing a very important project on energy transition, encouraging a move towards clean sources of energy, and securing sustainability for the European islands.” Video of his intervention
Mr Alfred SANT - Member of the European Parliament and of SEARICA Intergroup - underlined: “Coordination is necessary on many issues related with tourism. Such coordination needs benchmarking based on reliable data to asses negative and positive outcomes. In this respect, the work of the MITOMED+ project – aimed at studying Models of Integrated Coastal and Maritime Sustainable Tourism – is extremely prized.” Video of his intervention
Mr Stefano CIUOFFO, Councillor for Productive Activities, to Credit, to Tourism and Trade in the Tuscany Region, underlined: “Let’s work for an integrated Tourism management, in order to ensure its sustainability, including the preservation of natural and cultural heritage with benefit for the economic growth of our Destinations.”
Now it is time for the Destinations to join forces. To any Coastal and Maritime Destination from the Mediterranean, and beyond, interested in improving its sustainability performance, MITOMED+ offers you the opportunity to use the tools mentioned above and contribute to the MED Coastal and Maritime tourism management model. For further information, check here and contact us.
The event has been also the opportunity to present some best practices by NECSTouR and CPMR, such as the Civitas Destinations project, in the field of sustainable mobility on tourism.