Sustainable tourism to boost local economies: start of the CROSSDEV project

West Theatre at Umm Qais (Jordan), one of the pilot areas of the CROSSDEV project (Photo by Ankur P - CC BY 2.0)

What if abandoned ruins became the key factor to develop the economy of entire regions? That is what the CROSSDEV project ('Cultural Routes for Sustainable Social and economic Development in Mediterranean') intends to realize in 4 Mediterranean countries: Italy, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

Every year, thousands of young people, often with university degrees, leave their home countries looking for better job opportunities. Every year, hundreds of small businesses, often with century-long history and traditions, close down due to lack of young people or to the voracious competition of large corporations.

The result? Entire areas face complete dereliction and the loss of world environmental, cultural and historical heritage.

Combining the increasing interest towards sustainable tourism with the incommensurable value of environmental, cultural and historical heritage, CROSSDEV intends to bring new hope to local communities and first-rate travel opportunities to conscious tourists. How? Turning less-known places and rural areas into new routes of sustainable tourism, working tightly with the locals to revamp their traditions and cultural heritage and turning them into assets for socio-economic local development.

Through the efforts of 6 partners lead by the Italian organization 'CISP', CROSSDEV will work in the following areas: 

  • Italy: Sicily, communities in the areas along the Via Selinuntina, neighbourhoods of Sambuca di Sicilia (Province of Agrigento) and Castelvetrano-Selinunte (Province of Trapani).
  • Jordan: communities around less known historical and cultural sites in Aqaba area (Southern Jordan) and archaeological site of Umm Qais (Northern Jordan).
  • Lebanon: villages in the area of Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, Mount Lebanon.
  • Palestine: the extended area of Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil from Beit Mirsim to Batter - southern of the West Bank, and the less known segment in the northern of the West Bank.

Involving public authorities, tourism-related actors, educational institutions and the general public, CROSSDEV will contribute to create new economic prosperity and new job opportunities for the locals, while benefitting tourists from all over the world with the creation of new wonders to visit. 

Follow the project on Twitter (@CROSSDEV_Social) and Instagram: crossdev_social

Partnership composition
Lead beneficiary: Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP, Italy). Partners:  Ministero Italiano per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo (MIBACT, Italy), Società Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture, Italy), The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS, Jordan), Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST, Jordan), Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM, Lebanon), Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil (MIAK, Palestine).

Financial data
Project budget: € 2.5 million. 
Programme contribution: € 2.2 million (90%).

Annalisa Marocchi, Communication Manager CROSSDEV -
CISP, Via Germanico, 198 – 00192 Rome - Tel. (+39) 06 321 54 98

Disclaimer: this news has been drafted by the CROSSDEV project and may have been edited by the Managing Authority.