Re-connecting tourism: Promoting evidence-based policies for sustainable development

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The MED Sustainable Tourism Community is organising the international conference “Re-connecting tourism: promoting evidence-based policies for sustainable development” on the 29th-30th May 2018 at the UNINT University in Rome.

Register here 

Registration is open until May 20, 2018

After more than one year and a half since its beginning, our Community has gathered the first results from their pilot actions, tests and studies. The BlueTourMed project, who is coordinating the joint actions of the Community, has therefore decided to organize the first public event to capitalize on this precious knowledge capital.

The focus of this conference is on promoting evidence-based policies and management strategies because the 18 transregional projects of our Community are actively monitoring tourism pressures, designing and testing innovative management and planning strategies so they can feed the policy-making process with precious knowledge and data.

The conference will try to answer two key questions underlying the whole tourism sector in the Mediterranean and even beyond:

  1. What do we need to know to design better policies for sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean coastal area?
  2. How can we manage environmental-cultural-social impacts of tourism while keeping this industry growing?

Projects representatives, external experts, and tourism sector stakeholders will present the results of their work, put forward their recommendations and even challenge each other in moderated discussions divided in three main topical panels and an open debate.

High Level Roundtable* – WHEN IS TOURISM REALLY WELCOME? Political and economic solutions to make tourism sustainable #SustainableTourism

// 30 May, 11:30 > 13:30


  • Antonio Magliulo, Professor of Economics of tourism and culture, member of the Academic Commitee of NECSTouR


  • Francesco Palumbo, Director General of Italian Ministry of TourismIuliana
  • Gabriela Aluas, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Growth, European Commission
  • Alfredo Malcarne, Vice President of the Forum of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce
  • Dirk Glaesser, Director for Sustainable Tourism Programme at UNWTO (tbc)

*simultaneous interpretation in English/French/Italian will be available

Panel 1 –  EVIDENCES FOR BETTER POLICIES: monitoring the sustainability of tourism to inform the policy-making process #datagapsinpolicies

// 29 May, 16:00 - 18:00

The challenges for the success of the future European and Mediterranean tourism will pass through innovation, digitalization, accessibility of information and other topics related to data management. The European Commission has recently launched the initiatives on Collaborative Economy and Digital Single Market, stating the importance of those topics. What is currently the state of the art in Europe? And how advanced are the Mediterranean Countries in this topic? There are many examples of past and current initiatives dealing with data management for tourism. Were they useful? Were they successful? The MED Sustainable Tourism Community needs to know the reasons of the success or failures of past projects, in order to learn from the successful stories and to add innovative results to the European panorama. Several projects of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community are working on data collection and analysis as scientific basis for developing pilot activities, feeding decision-making processes and proposing alternative sustainable tourism models to the decision makers. This session, dedicated to the data for tourism, aims to give to the Community a comprehensive view on available tools, case studies and key success factors.

Panel 2 – BEYOND THE SEA-SAND-SUN MODEL: an integrated vision of tourism pressure to support territorial development strategies #tourismpressures

// 30 May, 09:00 - 11:00

The second capitalization session of BleuTourMed’s Midterm Conference will focus on the impacts of tourism on the Mediterranean region and the issues encountered by localities and territories for the management of tourism impacts and pressures. This session will show the limits of the mass tourism system in the Mediterranean region. Indeed, tourist flows in the Mediterranean region are usually following a “sea-sand-sun” seasonal pattern, creating multiple pressures on tourism destinations, and degrading the natural and cultural heritages of the region. What exactly makes the current tourism model a threat to the Mediterranean natural and cultural heritages? How to catch stakeholders’ attention on the necessity of changing tourism habits and turning to more sustainable practices?

Panel 3 – WHAT SHOULD WE CHANGE? Innovative management and planning strategies for sustainable tourism #tourismmanagement

// 30 May, 14:00 - 16:00

Whilst tourism plays a key role in the Mediterranean’s economic development, it also puts considerable pressure on natural resources and the environment. Promoting ecologically sustainable tourism is now becoming crucial and vital in this area which is experiencing loss of biodiversity, the effect of desertification and the diminishing reserves of water. How to reduce the pressures related to tourism in the Mediterranean region? Finding innovative management models and strategies is extremely important in order to reduce the pressures of the environmental-cultural-social impacts of tourism. In this direction, several projects of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community are working on new planning methods and alternative tourism models, persuading decision-makers to adopt new strategies on sustainable tourism. The session is dedicated to explore innovative tourism management and planning tools aiming to face the environmental pressure of tourism caused by waste, coastal and marine pollution, degradation of ecosystems, massive tourist flows, etc. The participants will analyse the alternative methods developed by the Community and by other actors exploring which are the main strategies, complementary to the existing political framework and territorial development plans and territorial development plans that should be implemented in order to limit the negative impacts of tourism. During the session, more effective tourism management methods for alternative forms of tourism with less impact on ecosystems will be illustrated in order to give an overview of developed and available tools, best practices and key strategies complementary with already existing policies to limit the negative impacts of tourism. Finally, the session also will also investigate how the alternative tourism management strategies implemented at local scales can be transferred at national and regional scales.

The conference will take place at Università degli Studi Internazionali -UNINT in Via delle Sette Chiese 139, Rome. 



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