Sustainability and Tourism in the Mediterranean (S&T MED) is a strategic project, focusing on the integrated valorization of environmental assets, traditions and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism (further information are available on our website: www.stmedproject.eu). The Project is implemented in three pilot areas: Sinis and Isola di Mal di Ventre in Italy, Mahdia in Tunisia and Aqaba in Jordan. S&T MED, under the coordination of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism of Italy, relies upon scientific and technical contributions of a wide array of Partners that have made available their expertise and experience for the successful implementation of the Project: National and regional Governments; Scientific partners and Local Authorities.
The Strategy of the Project is based on the recognition of the crucial role played by cultural and biological diversity in the attractiveness and economic development of Mediterranean coastal destinations and the ensuring need to manage this huge heritage in a sustainable manner, respecting local social and cultural values as well as the environment, its ecosystems and associated services.
The S&T Med Project aims at:
‐ Protecting, valorizing and promoting natural and cultural heritage in a systemic way;
- Supporting the development of a sustainable and responsible coastal tourism in the Mediterranean, including through raising capacities and awareness of local administrations, private sector, local communities and tourists;
- Developing shared models and frameworks for joint responses to common challenges in the Mediterranean;
The adoption and application of a public/private Destination Management Organization (DMO), to sustainably manage, valorise and promote natural and cultural heritage in a coordinated manner expects to implement:
-the establishment of a transnational Observatory on Sustainable Tourism, combining environmental as well as tourism data and analyses, to promote and protect natural resources of the involved costal ecosystems and create an innovative tool to promote and monitor sustainable tourism;
- the set up of an international network of sustainable coastal tourism destinations in the Mediterranean destination sharing homogeneous quality standards and methodologies to protect, enhance and promote the sustainable use of coastal areas. The network will offer the opportunity to develop and test common methodologies during project implementation and will be open to other destinations;
-the support to local economic growth and business development, primarily through (i) the refurbishment of buildings of economic significance for the area that could represent tourism attractors;
- the set up of business alliances that could improve economies of scale and quality and range of services for tourism.
The total budget of S&T MED project is 5 million Euro and it is financed for an amount of 4,4 million Euro by the European Union through the ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (www.enpicbcmed.eu).