Reflecting on the Med Pearls Journey conference: exploring Slow Tourism in the Mediterranean.
Get ready to take a journey through the Mediterranean basin! The Med Pearls project recently held its final conference in the stunning region of As Salt, Jordan, on the 20th and 21st of March 2023. The conference, named "The MED PEARLS Journey," was a celebration of the four years of hard work and dedication by project partners, associates, destination management companies towards one goal: promote the Mediterranean as a slow tourism destination. The event aimed to become a platform for all stakeholders to reflect on their achievements, share experiences and knowledge, and capitalise on best practices for alternative models to mass tourism. With so much to explore, we invite you to read on and discover more about this exciting conference!
The conference kicked off on the 20th of March with high-level discussions on slow tourism and the achievements of the Med Pearls project. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with interesting experts on sustainable tourism and discuss the opportunities and challenges of slow tourism in the Mediterranean.
Throughout the day, keynote speeches and panel discussions were held on sustainable tourism policies, community-based tourism, and the role of digital technologies in promoting sustainable tourism. The conference began with a talk by Raed Khawaldeh, from the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, who shared his experiences and success stories from the Dana Reserve. This was followed by Carl Cater, Associated Professor at Swansea University, who discussed trends in slow tourism challenges and projections for the future.
Before breaking for lunch, Blink presented "The MED PEARLS Journey." With the participation of different project partners, sub-grantees, and the companies Bespoke and DECABA, this interactive session showcased the main Med Pearls achievements throughout its implementation (2019-2023), including examples of DMCs products and ICT solutions developed.
In the afternoon, a workshop aimed at capitalising on the results of the Med Pearls project took place. The different DMCs and sub-grantees of the project exchanged knowledge and skills, laying the foundation for a solid marketing framework to promote slow tourism. The workshop aimed to set up the basis for the continuation of the project, ensuring that slow tourism remains at the forefront of sustainable tourism models.
On the 21st of March, day two of the conference consisted of a series of visits to the As-Salt slow tourism destinations and activities. Participants had the chance to experience the different tourism products and initiatives from the tourist's perspective. The visits included a range of activities such as biscuit and aloe vera soap making, beekeeping, and activities to experience what it is like to be a farmer in Jordan. This allowed attendees to experience firsthand the different aspects of slow tourism and how it can benefit local communities and the environment.
Overall, the conference was a huge success, providing a platform for sharing experiences, knowledge, and advice on sustainable tourism models based on slow tourism. It highlighted the achievements of the Med Pearls project and showcased the different tourism products and initiatives implemented in the Mediterranean basin. The outcomes of the "Med Pearls" project final conference provided a roadmap for the future of slow tourism in the Mediterranean region. By continuing to invest in slow tourism and by working together to promote it, communities can ensure that the region's natural and cultural heritage is preserved for future generations, while also providing economic opportunities and improving the quality of life for local communities.
The "Med Pearls" project has shown that sustainable tourism is not only desirable but also achievable. It can be a catalyst for positive change in the Mediterranean region and beyond. So, what are you waiting for? Join the Med Pearls journey today and help pave the way for a more sustainable future!
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