MEDITERRANEAN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM CONVENTION 2019

The event took place from the 5th to the 7th June in Barcelona (Spain)

The Tourism Community built during the past year thanks to the BleuTourMed Horizontal project brought together about 280 participants from 15 countries, and 62,5% of them were representatives of regional and local authorities, higher education and research institutions. Attendees coming from outside the MED region were registered as well, showing the great success and interest of this conference and the importance of the Mediterranean area within the tourism sector.

This three-day convention was useful to debate and reflect on tourist activities in the different regions of the Mediterranean through several formats: panels, workshops, side events and study visits. The thematic community on sustainable tourism of the Interreg MED Programme built around 17 modular projects was represented as well and had the chance to promote and spread the results of the activities carried out so far.

In addition, tourism experts and partners of the PANORAMED project were attending the conference, and some of them participated in a panel discussion on 'The implementation of sustainable tourism policies at territorial level'. Specifically, Manuela Bigi (Tuscany Region, Italy), Magali Ferrand (Occitan Region, France), Natalija Havidic (Croatia) and Elia-Nikoleta Apostolopoulou (Greece) were among the speakers of the session. The debate went through the strategies and challenges faced by national and sub-national administrations to implement sustainable tourism policies, deepening also tools and solutions developed by several initiatives in the territory. The debate also focused on the barriers and enabling factors to mainstream EU projects outputs into policies. Monitor the tourism sustainability and smartness, assess and identify tourism impact in its different dimensions, understand how tourism could be used as a strategic driver for responsible economic growth and prosperity, propose more inclusive governance mechanisms and the role of public/private sector were some of the main aspects discussed. Panelists were requested to bring their experience at national/regional level, but the debate was also a good opportunity to present PANORAMED as a unique voice for the Mediterranean and to launch the work done with the two strategic projects for the tourism sector.

The general idea coming out from the conference was that many efforts from the MED Tourism Community are going in the right direction to rethink the tourism sector and make it smarter, preserving and promoting the unique identity of landscapes and precious resources of the Mediterranean.