FSOB3c - MPAs as an effective tool to reach sustainable tourism

30 November - 11:00 / 12:30 in room Maroc 2

Organisers: WWF, IUCN, Federparchi

Moderators: Marina Gomei (WWF Mediterranean) and Carla Danelutti

Session overview:

Tourism in Mediterranean MPAs has a huge growing potential, and the number of tour operators offering responsible travel packages involving those areas is constantly increasing. This focus session aims to address the current situation of tourism in MPAs of the Mediterranean, focusing on the potential benefits for the local communities.
The session will address in particular the following issues:
Lessons learned from the Mediterranean successes and failure in the integration of tourism activities in MPAs
Promoting synergies between MPAs and sustainable tour operators
Ensuring equitable sharing of the benefits from tourism in MPAs


Sustainable tourism in Mediterranean MPAs
Speaker:  Marina Gomei, WWF Mediterranean
The presentation will introduce the session, objectives, and speakers. A short analysis of the status of Mediterranean tourism will be presented, including a focus on sustainable tourism market. The current progress and challenges towards sustainable tourism in Mediterranean MPAs will be shown, including strategies to manage tourism flows in MPAs, to attract green-oriented tour operators, and engage local businesses.


Planning a community based sustainable tourism
Speaker:  Milena Šijan, Sunce, Croatia  
As part of the regional SEA Med project, the Public Institution NP Lastovo Islands began to develop sustainable tourism foundations for the park. Through participatory approach with local tourist providers and local community in general, a Sustainable Tourism Management Plan was developed and some activities were also implemented. The realisation of these activities contributed to the sustainable financing of the local community, promotes tourism initiatives based on natural and cultural values and enhances sustainable tourism practice. In addition, during the implementation of those activities, the need for a Marketing plan emerged and its realization became an added value of the whole project.


Empowering ecotourism operators in European Coastal destinations: the WildSeaeurope route
Speaker:  Valentina Cappanera, Portofino MPA, Italy
Portofino is the third smallest MPA in Italy where the impact of human activities (boating, scuba diving,
professional and recreational fishing, cruisers) is high and, in the summer season, reaches more than a million of users. WildSeaEurope project, co‐funded by the COSME program of the European Commission, represents the opportunity changing the direction of the typical mass tourism of the territory, increasing the number of people that love nature and wildlife and promoting tour operators working on sustainable tourism. It is a strong challenge addressed to change the quality of tourism.


Planning a community-based sustainable tourism which integrate natural and cultural heritage
Speaker:  Emanuelle MANCA, Sinis MPA, Italy
Results of the S&T Med project, focusing on the successful experience of planning a community-based sustainable tourism which integrate natural and cultural heritage and maximise the benefits for the local community, and of networking with other similar sustainable coastal destinations in the Mediterranean region


Market-Based Perspective: MPA Tourism Trends and Opportunities
Speaker:  Jeremy Sampson, GreenSpot Travel and Senior Research Scholar, International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University School of Business
This session will explore the perspective and desires of North American travelers as they relate to sustainable tourism in coastal and marine areas. The presenter will also outline a demand-driven model for tourism-related product development in Marine Protected Areas, demonstrating the critical connection between sustainable tourism development and long-term viability of MPAs and their conservation goals.


Creation of a Destination Management Organization for the promotion of sustainable tourism in Mediterranean PAs: the MEET Network
Speaker: Carla Danelutti, IUCN Mediterranean)
The Mediterranean Experience of Ecotourism (MEET) is a target-oriented network of people and organizations managing ecotourism products built around the natural and cultural attractions of protected areas and local communities. The network acts as a Destination Management Organization of the involved protected areas and has a support structure that facilitates the joint design, management, marketing and sales of these products, by incorporating them as a unique destination with strong branding and professional support. The overarching shared objective of the network is to strengthen the conservation of protected areas while respecting the local culture and history and generating economic benefits for the communities that live in and around them.