Med Pearls look into 2021: reviewing and wishing you happy holidays!



The Med Pearls partners had a very intense year 2021, in this article we want to make a recap of 2021, say thank you to everyone involved in making this project possible and wish a happy new year to the whole MED community!

We think most would agree that for all the partners of an ENI CBC MED project or in fact any EU project, working during a pandemic can be at the very least a challenging task. However, despite the challenges encountered, we are aware that resilience and hard work to make the best of the resources available is at the core of our job. For this reason, we want to finish the year by giving ourselves a moment to reflect and share with you some of the key milestones achieved during 2021 under the ENI CBC MED.

First, we want to celebrate that last November we were able to carry out the first live event in Egypt! Under the BRIDGE EVENT framework, we were able to meet everyone in person and bring more than 20 tour companies from different countries to Egypt. Furthermore, another milestone to celebrate was the publication, in all partners’ languages, of the study on Slow Tourism and the Product Creation Manual, which are available on the ENI CBC MED website. And another one of our milestones reached were the grants we were able to provide to the tourist MSMEs.

But we have more things to celebrate. Let’s check some of the highlights of our partners from 2021:

During 2021, the partner Mediterranean Pearls APS received 5 official applications for subgrants in their pilot areas. The winners were 3 projects from Etna -Valle Alcantara and 1 from Sabina Reatina. They were also part of the evaluation committees for the sub-grants from Spain, Greece, Egypt and Jordan; and to promote the call, Mediterranean Pearls APS participated in several conferences dedicated to sustainable tourism and food and wine tourism in Mediterranean destinations. Lastly, they commissioned two video makers to film the 2 Italian pilot areas. The work was completed, and the material has already been sent to the partners in Jordan for post-production to create the video that encompasses all the Med Pearls of the project.

Two consensus building workshops, one in December 2020 and another one in February 2021 were celebrated to introduce the Med Pearls project in the region and create awareness. They were also able to spot the light on the importance of ICT and technology solutions for the tourism sector. They did it by hosting two main experts in the field of technology and slow tourism, and identifying with them the tools needed in order to come up with ICT solutions that helped to generate Slow Tourism in Palestine (for instance, website, mobile application, 3D, 360º virtual reality, gamification…) Furthermore, they also published a ToR for setting up the Med Pearls online platform and received 11 proposals from different Mediterranean countries that culminated with the selection of a Palestinian software company (Intertech), who are currently building the Med Pearls website.

During 2021, Jordan trained 65 professionals on slow tourism practices. They also managed different awareness events, with an attendance of 90 people and with the local partners, they developed synergies with the Medusa program attending a training on sustainability and taking part of the MIid term event (CROSS DEV). Furthermore 4 companies (3 ICT companies and 1 DMC) participated in the BRIDGE EVENT in Egypt. The Jordan team has been highlithing the most important project topics on social media.

The Med Pearls team has a very constructive year in 2021, as many professionals from the entire touristic chain were trained in the principles of Slow Tourism. Different travel agents participated in b2b meetings with DMCs of the Med Pearls network and one of the most important moments was when they participated in the subgrant process for the creation of Slow Tourism products. They submitted many proposals, and 4 of which will be implemented in 2022. For this reason, the Greek team is looking forward to the new year. Until then, the Greek team wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Alex Chamber/ CEEBA organized the first BRIDGE EVENT of the project with an conference on “ICT Powering the Med Tourism’ held at the CAIRO-ICT exhibition (110 participants). The Egyptian partners also organized a match-making between Mediterranean and Egyptian Tourism and ICT companies (35) and the pilot area visit for all delegation participants and partners (21) from Italy, Greece, Spain, Jordan and Palestine (15). 

Two subgrant applications for the Med Pearls Product Development were granted Facility targeting product creation for Slow Tourism in the Egyptian pilot areas. One project succeeded to promote Slow Tourism in the Lake Mariout /Edku area. Regarding promotion, Med Pearls was promoted on an online event about:  'Access to Alternative and Innovative Finance Comparative Study: Outcomes and Recommendation' webinar held by the MED MSMEs Policies for Inclusive Growth Programme. In addition, CEEBA and the Alexandria Chamber promoted the Med Pearls project and its call for proposals at the “Techne Summit”, Egypt’ s biggest conference and exhibition for start-ups with more than 20 000 participants in an exhibition booth and in the conference (2. – 4th of October).

In addition to the project coordination, throughout 2021, the Catalan Tourist Board published different detailed documents and studies on the commercialisation and promotion of Slow Tourism Products and has organized different networking events like the the B2B online "Strengthening the Mediterranean Tourism Sector", and helped in the Planning of the BRIDGE EVENT in Egypt. In this one, Catalan companies had the chance to get to know other companies from the Med Region, and learn by first hand from other Pilot Areas of the Project, in this case Egypt. Furthermore, Catalonia will start 2022 with the selection process of the companies that will receive the grant for the creation of Slow Tourism Products in the Catalan pilot areas.

And with Catalonia we finish this review of 2021. With that being said, we want to close by saying that exciting things still await us for the next year. For example, we will be able to present our official website that will showcase all the slow tourism products of the project, and we will meet again each other in Barcelona for the second BRIDGE EVENT. Thank you to everyone involved.

Happy holidays, and from everyone here at the Med Pearls Project we want to wish you a great start of 2022!


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