Have a look at the first collective scientific work of the Sustainable Tourism Community: “Reconsidering tourism development in the Mediterranean. Reflections by the INTERREG MED Sustainable Tourism Community”.

The call for modular projects’ contributions that was launched in July 2019 culminated in the publication of a Special Section in the scientific journal Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal. The section was edited on behalf of the STC by Spyros Niavis and Dora Papatheochari and is entitled as “Reconsidering tourism development in the Mediterranean. Reflections by the INTERREG MED Sustainable Tourism Community”.

The section consists of three full research articles and one short communication composed by partners of the CASTWATER, ShapeTourism, Co-Evolve and BLUEMED projects. The papers present the scientific baseline of the most important outputs of projects and their contribution to the enhancement of sustainability in the Mediterranean area. Particular attention was given to the targets of monitoring of tourism and valorizing the natural environment toward sustainable tourism development.  The titles, authors and a short description of the papers are given below.

An online tool on sustainable water management

Authors: Christos Bouras, Vasileios Kokkinos, Evangelos Michos

The authors discuss the nuts and bolts of an online tool to monitor and assess sustainable tourism water management developed under the CASTWATER project. Analysis seeks to highlight how the tool could be useful for SMEs in order to self-evaluate their performance in sustainable water management and for policy makers at both regional and local level, in order to improve sustainable water management.

Tourism Observatories for monitoring MED destinations performance. The case of ShapeTourism project

Authors: Dario Bertocchi, Nicola Camatti, Jan Van der Borg

The paper analyzes the potential of Virtual Tourism Observatories to secure a reliable monitoring of tourism development. To this end, the authors present the rationale of Smart Integrated Tourism Data System (SITDS) being developed under the ShapeTourism project. More precisely, they assess the functionality of the ShapeTourism prototype including two different tools: an observatory with official and unofficial indicators, and a simulation tool to predict different scenarios and different sustainability levels.

Measuring and monitoring sustainability of coastal tourism destinations in the Mediterranean

Authors: Harry Coccossis, Antonia Koutsopoulou

This paper deals with the challenge of adapting general indicators frameworks to the particularities of various types of Mediterranean destinations and explains the approach followed by the Co-Evolve project. The project developed a framework that measures and monitors sustainability at the local level by introducing a three-tier monitoring system consisting of core, destination and area specific indicators.

The Accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites (AUCHS) as a sustainable tourism development opportunity in the Mediterranean Region

Authors: Angelos Manglis, Anastasia Fourkiotou, Dimitra Papadopoulou

In this short communication, the authors emphasize the need to develop Accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites (AUCHS) and demonstrate how the BLUE MED project responded to this need by developing such sites in the Mediterranean. The authors pay particular attention on the role of new technology and showcase how the new technologies such as Augmented Reality can foster the sustainability of underwater natural and cultural heritage.

The papers are all accessible here.

We would like to thank all the community members for their contribution and we foresee their active participation in the future. We are also thankful to the editorial board of the Tourism Journal and especially to Josip Mikulic and Renata Tomljenovic for successfully handling all the submissions and all the reviewers who provided useful recommendations. Moreover, we would like to thank Zrinka Marusic for her valuable assistance in formulating this Special Section. Finally, we would be happy to receive any inquiries or proposals for future similar initiatives through this form