Tourism is one of the largest socio-economic activities in the Mediterranean area. This area remains one of the world’s tourist destinations, representing a high percentage of their GDP and maritime and coastal tourism represent a driving force for the economic and blue growth in the Mediterranean region.
Whilst in particular maritime and coastal tourism plays a key role in the region’s economic development, it also puts considerable pressure on natural resources and the environment. For this reason tourism competitiveness in the long term is closely linked to the 'sustainable' way in which it is developed. Moreover being a transversal sector, tourism is interrelated with other economic sectors and other maritime activities, that’s why it is necessary to consider tourism from an inter-sectorial approach. This implies challenges that call for specific responses and efforts from relevant stakeholders and public authorities. Thus, there is a need to increase cooperation among all actors in order to tackle these challenges and move towards a development of tourism on the basis of competitiveness and sustainability.
In this sense, the “Maritime and Coastal sustainable tourism, a key for the blue growth” seminar, organized by Arco Latino and the Tuscany Region in the frame of the COM&CAP MarInA-Med and the MITOMED projects respectively (Med Programme 2007-2013), aims at discussing several aspects of the Maritime and coastal sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean area.
The overall objective of this event is to communicate and capitalize upon the results of the Med Maritime projects dealing with the sustainable tourism from an integrated point of view while cross-fertilizing them through the participation of a wide range of relevant external stakeholders and experts. These exchanges will be very useful to draw-up concrete recommendations to the new Med Cooperation Programme that focuses one of its priority axes on protecting and promoting Mediterranean natural and cultural resources.