Med Pearls: a new approach to sustainable tourism
Tuesday, 19 November 2019 - The Opening Conference of the Med Pearls project was held in Barcelona at the World Heritage Site of “Hospital de Sant Pau” with a contribution of fifteen speakers from the tourism sector and about seventy attendees.
The Med Pearls project is part of the ENI CBC Med Programme of the European Commission and will work during the next 3 years to create 26 sustainable slow tourism experiences structured and managed by local agents along the 6 countries taking part in the project: the so-called "26 pearls of the Mediterranean".
The main pillars of this project are: to attract tourism to less-known areas with a low number of visitors per year; to work on the deseasonalization of tourism offers and hence contributing to more job opportunities and local economic development; and to avoid the negative effects of mass tourism choosing a responsible and sustainable approach which preserves local communities’ identity.
Through the Opening Conference, the partners of the project presented the Med Pearls innovative approach; and how the cross-border cooperation will allow the region to tackle common challenges working on similar but also quite different natural and cultural contexts.
This launching event was also the occasion to establish the first alliances with previous success slow tourism initiatives such as Alpine Pearls (also resulting from past EU projects: Alps Mobility and Alps Mobility II) and the different ENI CBCMED projects working on complementary actions in the Mediterranean region.
One of the aspects that generated more interest was the announcement of a call for proposals within the Med Pearls project, to support Destination Management Organisations from the different participating countries in the creation of new slow tourism products. Complementary to that, there will also be a second call for proposals, at a later stage, addressed to start-ups and ICT developers that will grant the most innovative ICT Slow Tourism solutions.
Check the agenda of the event here.