Models of Integrated TOurism in the MEDiterranean

PRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT

MITOMED promotes the integrated management of maritime and coastal tourism by improving the knowledge of data, products, services but also policies and thus pertaining to the sector through an assessed set of indicators based on the NECSTouR model. MITOMED provides a common working framework for tourism actors and stakeholders, thereby helping policy makers to make more informed and integrated decisions for the governance and management of tourism in the Mediterranean. By supporting sustainable and competitive tourism the project contributes to the objectives of the Integrated Maritime policy and of the Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism of the European Union.

MAIN MESSAGES

  • On the one hand, the Mediterranean represents the world’s leading destination in terms of international and domestic tourism, accounting for one third of total arrivals worldwide;
  • Coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean is a growing business and a predominant source of income. It can be a major source of growth and jobs, especially for young people;
  • On the other hand, the Mediterranean is subject to severe anthropic impacts and environmental risks: tourism pressure on territories and citizens, extensive building along the coastline, coastal erosion, worsening conditions of sea water, over exploitation of natural and cultural heritage;
  • The cross-cutting and cross-border nature of tourism activities and their impacts calls for more integrated management models that can support an Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Integrated models in turn require more complete and reliable knowledge (data, products, services, policies, etc.) pertaining to the sector;
  • The MITOMED project provides an assessed system of cross-sectoral indicators to standardize the collection and comparison of tourism data. It provides a common working framework to set up integrated monitoring and management models of sustainable and competitive tourism in the Mediterranean;
  • MITOMED’s cross-sectoral indicator system can help policy makers to make more informed decisions towards integrated marine/maritime strategies, and to foster to Blue Growth in a sustainable and competitive way.

KEY DELIVERABLE

  • GAP ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY A shortlist of 34 relevant and feasible indicators was selected from an initial list of 119 indicators (from existing systems: NECSTouR, TSG, ETIS…). The indicators, covering 10 cross-sectoral themes (natural resources, energy, waste, quality of life of residents, of tourists and of work, Conservation of cultural and environmental heritage and of identities, de-seasonalization, transport) were used by project partners—through data collection and the involvement of regional stakeholders—to profile destinations from the socio-cultural, economic and environmental points of view.
  • GAP ANALYSIS OF MARITIME & COASTAL TOURISM DATA IN THE MED The indicators have been used to measure the economic, social, cultural and environmental implications of tourism activities in the territories. A critical assessment of the various indicators was carried out. The GAP analysis reveals which data are available and which not, and defines “ideal thresholds” to be reached under each indicator. The results can be used for monitoring, benchmarking and for the development of actions and policies.
  • SEA-BASIN SWOT ANALYSIS The SWOT analysis is centred on the tourist destination as a whole. It represents the starting point to reflect on the state of the art and the desired future of M&C destinations of each region, to investigate common issues, points to be improved and the above mentioned development potential.
  • ACTION PLAN FOR MARITIME AND COASTAL TOURISM IN THE MEDITERRANEAN The MITOMED Action Plan investigates the development potential of M&C tourism in the MED areas through the implementation of a management model, identifies actions for the realization of that potential and launches proposals for future transnational actions and projects to improve the governance of Maritime and Coastal tourism. Actions include: improvement of the data collection systems and interoperability, cross-sectoral co-operation; the development of innovative and “green” tourism products; better enforcement of environmental standards and protection of cultural and natural heritage.

TECHNICALS HINTS

  • The reduction of gaps in tourism data by improving monitoring systems (in terms of coverage, sectors, quality, resolution), improving technical and economic feasibility of data collection and use;
  • The reduction of fragmentation by extending monitoring to further regions; improving availability and interoperability of data, exchanging Good Practices in Integrated Tourism Management, improving dialogue between public bodies and tourism actors and stakeholders;
  • The reduction of tourism pressure by developing alternative types of tourism products to reduce monoculture, concentration and seasonality, favoring prevention, reduction and recycle of natural resources and waste, increasing social dialogue about tourism issues.

GOVERNANCE HINTS

  • The design of basin-scale strategies to support sustainable and competitive tourism as green / authentic / experiential and more environmentally conscious, spatial and seasonal differentiation (village tourism & inland connections), investments in innovative products and services through the EU (e.g. Structural funds) to favour entrepreneurship (the youth & women), to develop tourism knowledge and know-how (e.g. by funding science and technology poles);
  • The launch of joint pilot actions for innovative tourism to develop new and diversified products in coastal areas, to increase stakeholders openness to innovation, to reach a better distribution of tourists in time and space in order to reduce the pressure in peak seasons, to reinforce nature-based and cultural heritage-based tourism, to favour cooperation between adjacent territories, to develop new markets and stay competitive worldwide, to establish the Mediterranean as a “green” destination, to uphold the digital agenda, to uphold integrated territorial and urban projects.

SYNERGIES WITH OTHER PROJECTS

  • Capitalization of the experiences drawn from the FP7 project “ERNEST–European Research NEtwork on Sustainable Tourism”;
  • Synergies with different MED Maritime projects - particularly those dealing with tourism;
  • With the NEMO project: sharing efforts in attempting to standardize mapping activities and tourism data collection/comparison and in providing an Action Plan to foster an integrated marine/maritime approachWith the NEMO project: sharing efforts in attempting to standardize mapping activities and tourism data collection/comparison and in providing an Action Plan to foster an integrated marine/maritime approach
  • With the TOURMEDASSETS project: sharing efforts in providing better decision making tools for policy makers to foster Blue Growth in a sustainable and competitive way
  • Synergies with other MED projects such as the SHIFT project upholding sustainable tourism in fragile territories by redistributing tourism over an extended season and different market segments drawn from local cultural and natural diversity, and the SusTEn project supporting sustainable tourism development through balanced regional socio-economic development and management of natural and cultural assets.