The 4th Stakeholders Working Group (SWG) Workshop took place on the 14th of February 2022, at the AX the Palace Hotel in Sliema, organised by the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) in the framework of the Interreg MED INCIRCLE project.
This final public meeting was intended to conclude the two-year round of regional stakeholder working group meetings, so far involving a substantial number of national actors and policymakers across the public-private tourism sector, with the aim to eventually converge on the measures and targets set by the INCIRCLE Circular Tourism Strategy as formulated by the EWA for the Maltese Islands.
The major outcomes and feedback received through the previous working group meetings allowed for the identification of the main sustainable tourism bottlenecks and challenges, that were transposed into the strategy. This 4th SWG served as a final stage for the finalisation and acceptance of the strategy by the sector key-stakeholders, allowing to update the INCIRCLE strategy’s measures and actions, along with those of the Regional and Local Action Plan, as created by the Ministry for Gozo, which is also involved as an INCIRCLE project partner.
Participants’ interventions underlined the achievements reached by the Maltese strategy in separating national projects’ objectives and funds – targeting the whole country’s economic system (e.g., general infrastructural projects) – from those actions only addressing the tourism sector, with the aim of better assessing the real impact of the long-term strategy’s measures in guiding the sector towards circularity and sustainability.
Among the overall dispersion of measures over the water, energy, mobility, and waste pillars; participants spotlighted those sustainable and circular practices enabling a change in behaviour through awareness-raising and technical/financial support, aimed at the development of plans for the tourism sector.
The session was wrapped up with the suggestion to move forward by including in the INCIRCLE strategy additional activities which enable stakeholder engagement, ensure participation in governance processes, and the increasing awareness amongst the general public about circularity.
For more info, you can visit the INCIRCLE project platform.