During a two day capitalization conference for the Consume-Less project, hosted by the Union for the Mediterranean at their Head Quarters in Barcelona, project partners will be able to present the outcomes of the Consume-Less project to a projected stakeholder attendance of 75 experts, originating from across all the European Union and the Mediterranean. In so doing, the conference enabled the exchange of good practices between the Consume-less Project Partners and stakeholders from the broader Mediterranean Region, thus effectively contributing to regional processes related to the development of sustainable tourism frameworks.
Most of the coastal cities in the Mediterranean area are affected by high touristic flows. This creates relevant economic and employment opportunities but generates at the same time negative externalities that threaten the preservation of those ecosystem services that ensure tourism attractiveness. The development of sustainable tourism in coastal cities is thus a strategic issue in the Mediterranean area.
The CONSUME-LESS (Consume Less in Mediterranean Touristic Communities) project, which is part funded under the European Union’s INTERREG-Med programme, addresses this issue by demonstrating the effectiveness of a sustainable tourism model based on the qualification of the coastal cities as “consume-less” locations and on the enhancement of this peculiarity through an innovative communication and territorial marketing campaign, both implemented by directly involving all interested actors (local, authorities, tourism operators and service providers, tourists).
This will bring multiple benefits that will be carefully monitored and accounted for through the use of a suitable set of indicators, based on the European Tourism Indicators System. The ETIS is a voluntary instrument for the assessment of sustainability performance levels of tourist cities, which is promoted by the European Community for the management and monitoring the sustainability of branded “consume-less” tourist destinations after the end of the project. Benefits include the reduction in water and energy consumption and waste generation, enhancement of local products and natural resources, the increase in tourism flows and in tourists’ awareness on the importance of adopting environmentally sound lifestyles.
Under the Consume-Less Project, partner organisations from Malta, Italy, Spain, Albania and Greece have undertook initiatives for the promotion of an eco-label through established pilot and transferring areas in each country. Results obtained from this project were disseminated during the project capitalisation conference held at the Palau Pedralbes in Barcelona and organised with the collaboration of the Union for the Mediterranean, and hence opening an opportunity for the project’s results to support the development of comprehensive sustainable tourism strategies in the Mediterranean.
Almotaz Abadi, Managing Director Union for the Mediterranean comments on the importance of the Consumeless project for coastal and island regions. He praises the project for its repicability in the region and highlights the importance of the collaboration with the Union for the Mediterranean as this would then facilitate the capitalization of its results and disseminate it to other countries.