Sustainable Tourism

The Mediterranean is the world’s leading tourism destination. The region is also considered one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world. Unfortunately, many mass tourism activities include unsustainable practices that threaten Mediterranean biodiversity and ecosystem services today: the trend is to continue growing in the next decades exacerbating current impacts.

Sustainable Tourism as an Opportunity

tourism-as-an-opportunityPhoto: IUCN-Med


If managed responsibly, tourism can become an opportunity for the socio-ecological systems it relies on. But it requires companies, destinations, and tourists to be more aware and held accountable for their impact. We all have an important role to play to ensure that tourism lives up to its promise to improve people’s livelihoods and protect the environments they depend upon.


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Key priorities
sustainable tourism

Ecotourism respects the resources of protected Areas and the prosperity of locals. IUCN-Med is focused on developing sustainable tourism models providing both indirect and direct positive impact to conservation within and around parks, increasing their role in supporting the sustainable development of the destination. 

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Reducing tourism pressures within the socio- ecological limits for coastal destinations, managing tourism growth to achieve positive net impact. IUCN-Med is exploring the creation of a simple mechanism to address the Net impact of tourism on coastal destinations, in partnership with The Travel Foundation and GFN. 

IUCN-Med is looking for PARTNERSHIPS to build alliances, fund and implement projects on:

  1. Building the Mediterranean Ecological Network. 
  2. Assessing Tourism impacts on ecosystem services in coastal areas
  3. Tourism and Conservation Policy Advocate for policy change and integration of conservation and sustainability agenda in tourism at Mediterranean, regional and local scale.
  4. Tourism Planning & management Develop new tools and guidelines to plan, manage and monitor the net impact of tourism on key ecosystem services in coastal areas for destinations and administrations managing the coastal environment, under the principles of ICZM.
  5. Changing minds about tourism and nature - Mainstreaming biodiversity into the tourism industry, increasing the valorisation of the Med unmodified natural coastal landscapes as a key tourism asset and enhanced awareness of the sector on marine and coastal biodiversity.
  6. Reducing tourism impacts- Work with the tourism supply chain on measuring and reducing its ecological footprint in Med coastal zones and Protected Areas.
  7. Market access for sustainable products- creating innovative ecotourism products in Med PAs as best practice examples, supporting local operators to gain market access through the community around the MEET Network .
  8. Capacity for Tourism Management in PAs Building capacity for ecotourism development in PAs, through coaching, training workshops and MOOCs, giving Protected Areas managers the training and tools to measure, manage and keep tourism impact within limits of acceptable change. 

Or those interested, please contact our focal person with the message subject: Partnerships for Ecosystem Resilience and Spatial Planning