DEEPENING OF THE WEBINAR “TOURISM IN THE ADRIATIC IONIAN EUROREGION AND COVID-19 CRISIS: MEASURES AND OPPORTUNITIES TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY”

On 16 December2020, an online webinar was organized by the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion as side event of the XVII General Assembly and in collaboration with MED Sustainable Tourism Community with the aim to explore the measures taken at different levels (such as EU level, macroregional level and territorial cooperation level) to mitigate the effect of the Covid19 crisis on Tourism and to help the sector and its recovery phase. The event gave, at the same time, an overview of some good examples of alternative tourism models developed by Interreg projects with a particular focus on the sustainability of tourism.

The webinar "Tourism in the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion and COVID-19 crisis: measures and opportunities towards sustainability" was address mainly to the member authorities of the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion but it was also attended by different key actors and stakeholders of the Mediterranean area.

The AIE president Nikola Dobrosalvic introduces the thematic webinar with the following words: The European Union, with Next Generation EU and the recovery plan, seems to take in serious consideration the post-pandemic revival of the European tourism. The Europe’s auspice is: “In few years we must have a tourism sector fully sustainable from the social, economic and environmental perspective“.

Different guest-speakers were invited to take the floor, such as:

Cristina NUÑEZ CUESTA, Managing Director of NECSTouR;

Vlasta KLARIĆ, EUSAIR Facility Point, Thematic Expert - Pillar 4 - Sustainable Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Croatia;

Madlina PUKA, Tourism Expert of Triple P project, RCC - Regional Cooperation Council (BiH);

Josep RODRÍGUEZ, Head of International Relations, Tourism Technical Office, Barcelona Provincial Council;

Representatives of Interreg MED Projects (DESTIMED, MEDCYCLETOUR, SMARTMED) and NEST;

The first panel was a good occasion to present the future of sustainable tourism in the Next Generation EU. It came up that tourism is considered by the European Commission as a one of the most important sector to recover and relaunch the European economy on a more sustainable and resilient basis. Ms. Cristina NUÑEZ CUESTA, Managing Director of NECSTouR, said “building the Tourism of tomorrow means also to build an European tourism recovery plan through interregional cooperation, in partnership with the industry, where safety and resilience become the priority”.

Ms. Vlasta KLARIĆ presented the EUSAIR flagship projects on Pillar 4 – Sustainable Tourism, which will be implemented in the cooperation area in the coming future, giving an overview on how tourism recovery can be done also through cooperation at a macro-regional level.

The last panel of the webinar saw the contribution of different representatives of some Interreg projects, who have presented good practices of alternative tourism models developed in cooperation with other Mediterranean partners. The panel was the occasion to present some sustainable tourism tools and strategies, giving at the same time the opportunity to ETC projects, such as the projects of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, to present the results achieved so far.

The CATALOGUE OF OUTPUTS, as a unique document that gathers different experiences and outcomes of the MED Community, was introduced by the AIE Secretariat, with the purpose of raising awareness of the 38 tools/outputs from 15 projects in 200 Mediterranean destinations. The selection of outputs was made on the basis of better promoting common integrated actions that could boost the sustainable and responsible development of coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean region.

Here below the Full agenda of the meeting and the links to the presentations

11:00 - 11:05 Opening address and introduction of the webinar > Nikola DOBROSLAVIC, President of the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion

11:05 - 11:15 Post-covid-19 tourism crisis: NECSTouR views and regional best practices for recovery strategies on the tourism sector > Cristina NUÑEZ CUESTA, Managing Director of NECSTouR

11:15 - 11:25 Tourism recovery through cooperation at macro-regional level: the EUSAIR flagship projects on tourism > Vlasta KLARIĆ, EUSAIR Facility Point, Thematic Expert - Pillar 4 - Sustainable Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Croatia

11:25 – 11.35 Tourism Development and Promotion, the Triple P project developed in Western Balkan countries > Madlina PUKA, Adventure Tourism Expert of Triple P project, RCC - Regional Cooperation Council (BiH)

11:35 - 11:50 General presentation of MED Sustainable Tourism Community and the activities of the Italian, Croatian and IPA Antennas > by Josep RODRÍGUEZ, Head of International Relations, Tourism Technical Office, Barcelona Provincial Council, Lead partner of ST, and by Andrea DI GIROLAMO, Project officer, Adriatic Ionian Euroregion

11:50 - 12:30 NEW MODELS OF TOURISM: SMART SOLUTIONS TOWARDS THE SUSTAINABILITY OF TOURISM DESTINATIONS

_“DestiMED Project: the Promotion of Eco-tourism in Protected Areas” > Arnau TEIXIDOR, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN MED)

“MEDCYCLETOUR project and the Eurovelo 8, cycle route for sustainable coastal tourism” > Ernst FAHRENKRUG, ECF - European Cyclists' Federation 

“SMARTMED project: smart tourism business model” > Ksenija SLIVAR, Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Croatia

“NEST Project: Smart Tourism Destinations” > Valentina NDOU, University of Salento

12:30 Conclusion