Eighteen Mediterranean protected areas met in Roma to create a new offer of sustainable tourism

04 June 2014 | News story

In the meeting organized on the theme “creating an appealing ecotourism product” participants debated on how to spread the most innovative principles in the field of ecotourism in the Mediterranean.

More than 20 representatives of protected areas from 9 Mediterranean countries gathered from 28-30 May 2014 near the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno (Lazio Region, Italy) in a training workshop focused on ecotourism product development.

The meeting, coordinated by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, aimed to explore marketing tools and other key products related to the tourism sector as to improve the current ecotourism services associated to Mediterranean protected areas and reach the standards required by the most demanding markets. During the inauguration the president of the Federparchi, Giampiero Sammuri, highlighted the importance of boost ecotourism in local development.

At the workshop a marketing analysis was presented, aiming to achieve an accurate knowledge of four target markets for this project (USA, Canada, Australia and Japan), as well as to identify the leading operators (from a list of 230 tour operators, 47 agencies were selected), and to design packages that meet the requirements of the operators in each market.

Participants were invited to explain their ecotourism products in order to assess their potential for improvement in line with markets requirements. The training experts worked with participants on how to develop innovative and appealing products and demonstrate sustainable destination management. Other questions discussed were the identification of customer needs, on-line marketing tools or how to make a business plan. Eventually, next steps for this project were identified: the following weeks should see the start-up of the online platform of the MEET network, and the creation of each parks’ package.

The seminar is part of a series of training workshops for key stakeholders involved in the management of protected areas within the network of the MEET project. The objective is to provide participants with the knowledge and tools for the definition and dissemination of an ecotourism model.

This activity was developed under the framework of the MEET project (“Mediterranean Experience of Ecotourism”), which is funded by the European Neighborhood Policy Instrument (ENPI CBC MED). It counted with the participation of 9 countries of the Mediterranean Basin: Egypt, France, Greece, Italia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Spain and Tunisia. 

For further info: Carla Danelutti