Focus on the 1st Major Meeting for SMARTMED and BESTMED

BEST MED and SMARTMED Joint Transferring Seminar brings together around 140 participants.

The Joint Transferring Seminar “Perspectives on new models of governance for sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean” - co-organised by BEST MED and SMARTMED project partnerships - took place online last 20th April 2021 and represented a first milestone for the two Strategic Projects.

The two PANORAMED’s Strategic Projects on Coastal and Maritime Tourism are now just around half-way through their duration. For this reason, the event was the perfect opportunity to present the preliminary findings of both projects, discuss their replicability potential but also interact with relevant stakeholders.

The seminar included two different sessions. On the one hand, the first part was dedicated to the presentation of the methodology implemented and main results achieved and expected by the two projects. In this context, particular attention was paid to the SMART Tourism Business Model and the BESTMED Sustainable Path and Cultural Routes Model (MED S&C Path) as well as to the future Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (NSTO). On the other hand, in the second half of the event, a round table focused on the possible ways to integrate results and work on a joint transferring strategy, also foresing an active role of key stakeholders in this strategic dialogue. In this sense, among others, representatives from the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, PANORAMED, the Interreg MED Programme, the WestMED Initiative and the Union for the Mediterranean had the opportunity to share their views and provide valuable recommendations on the way forward.

 

Amid all the questions addressed by the diverse relevant speakers in this debate, it was highlighted that sustainability remains or is even more crucial for tourism recovery. In terms of adaptations needed to ensure a greater replication of the results presented, it was mentioned that both models could be applied to various levels of governance, so for instance, SMARTMED Tourism Business Model could be further broken down to be used at different levels, or focus on a specific tourism sub-sector, to also facilitate the private sector involvement, which is essential. Most importantly, the need of seeking other funds to continue the work started and thus, ensure the sustainability of projects‘ results was reiterated, together with the importance of having a wider long-term vision, beyond the strictly Interreg MED context.

Indeed, building a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the Mediterranean implies engaging partners from the Southern and Eastern shores. To this end it is fundamental to address the governance structure, with a multi-level approach, highlighting the benefits of replicating these kinds of results at territorial level and especially bringing together all relevant stakeholders to promote further exchange.

In this framework, the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission (IMC) plays a main role in the transferring and capitalising phases of both projects and will keep encouraging the reflections on the exploitation and coordination of synergies among all key players, for the benefit of the overall sustainable tourism governance in the Mediterranean.

With no hesitation, the discussions and conclusions of this dialogue will guide the next implementation steps and help define future common actions.