Greening the Islands Foundation

Dialogue4Tourism: a new Interreg Euro-MED project promoting institutional dialogue and innovative policies for sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean

The increase in global tourism leads to overtourism, seasonal tourism and the emergence of new tourism concepts, with impacts and challenges for local populations and authorities.

 

This is the focus of Interreg Euro-MED programme (2021-2027) that promotes circular tourism with innovation to sustain ecosystem services and preserve resources and heritage, emphasizing results and recommendations from sustainable tourism projects like BEST MED in the Interreg MED 2014-2020 program.

 

Part of this programme, two governance projects; Community4Tourism (C4T) and Dialogue4Tourism (D4T); work jointly to develop solutions and promote cooperation in the Euro-MED and beyond, of which C4T supports the Sustainable Tourism Mission of the Interreg Euro-MED program by enhancing coordination, promoting greener practices, and increasing resilience in the tourism sector. It aims to share best practices, transfer successful initiatives, and improve stakeholder collaboration in the Mediterranean Region for sustainable tourism governance and territorial cooperation.

 

The D4T enhances sustainable tourism by improving governance coordination in the Mediterranean. It raises visibility of the Euro-MED Sustainable Tourism Thematic Community’s outcomes, engaging policy actors and transferring actions with the aim to increase the coordination level and institutional capacity of public authorities, multi-level bodies, programmes, strategies and initiatives on sustainable tourism and governance in the Euro-Med Area.

 

The mission engages 16 partners and more than 50 associate partners offering a strong and diverse structure with multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to ensure a comprehensive governance strategy that draws on past cooperation experiences and embraces various dimensions.

 

The D4T project is led by El legado andalusí Andalusian Public Foundation (Regional Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Government of Andalusia, Spain) and Greening the islands (GTI) is a principal partner, focusing on the advocacy, and playing a role in the project’s communication and dissemination.

 

GTI is co-leading with Regione Lazio the MED Network Sustainable Tourism Observatory (MED NSTO), which aims to bring together different actors (observatories and organizations dealing with tourism) involved in data collection, analysis and management for sustainable tourism, and build multilevel cooperation for best solutions (share and transfer data, develop joint projects, feed the existing HUB, create new data, etc.).

 

The second Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) was organised by Region Sud, in Marseilles on 23 and 24 April 2024, where all the partners discussed the next steps for the year and presented roadmaps of the main axes of the project.

 

For the second day of the meeting, an open session was held to debate on sustainable tourism along with Mediterranean partners. The debate focused on addressing key issues in the tourism industry:

 

  • Diversification of touristic offerings to solve “overtourism”;
  • Encouraging the private sector to adopt sustainable practices;
  • Embracing digital transformation in tourism;
  • Taking urgent action to combat climate change impacts;
  • Promoting sustainability in all Mediterranean countries, including those outside the EU.

The discussions highlighted the importance of finding a balance between touristic activities and local needs, promoting eco-friendly initiatives, and adapting to climate change.

 

The second session has been led by EPLO (European Public Law Organization) as part of the D4T: Cross-Network Alliance activities, with contributions from representatives of the Union for Mediterranean (UFM), the European Commission (DG Mare, DG environment, Urban Agenda), C4T and Interreg NEXT MED.

 

The Round table was graced by a statement by Mr Curzio Cervelli, Coordinator of the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Euro-MED Programme. He anticipated possible reductions in financial resources in the future and recommended knowledge exchange to address future challenges, stressing the importance of including the southern and the eastern Mediterranean regions. Julia Saiz-Pardo (El legado andalusí Fundación Pública Andaluza), and Greening the Islands focused on the creation and expansion of D4T networks within and beyond the Euro MED programme.

 

The EURO MED NSTO will be part of a Mediterranean session of the GTI Observatory Summit (October 2024). The Institute of Agriculture and Tourism of Croatia (IPTPO) makes an appointment for the third SCM, in Poreč, on 15 and 16 October 2024.

 

Author of the article: Amar Djedaoun – Project Manager, Greening the Islands

Amar Djedaoun

Amar Djedaoun

On Key

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