Two French protected areas, Calanque National Park and Camargue Nature Park, will be developing and testing new ecotourism packages in the coming months with the support of the IUCN-Med team, who is managing several areas of work for DestiMED project (Mediterranean Ecotourism Destination), funded by the Med Interreg Programme. To set the path, several meetings co-organised by the Project Partner and IUCN Member, MedPAN, were held in Marseille last week of January with participating parks and local ecotourism service providers and representatives.
Both parks will work on how to highlight the unique natural and cultural assets of the territory, while raising awareness of both locals and international travelers to support conservation efforts.
The two pilot parks will join the other 11 parks in DestiMED to receive feedback on their packages from international ecotourism experts, hone the skills of their local private sector partners, and monitor the quality and environmental impact of their packages. The latter utilizes an innovative approach to Global Footprint Network´s ¨Ecological Footprint¨ methodology, which will be used to quantify the impact of ecotourism on the resources of the territories.
IUCN is promoting ecotourism as way to transform into a genuine alternative for the current tourism challenges facing the Mediterranean while directly supporting conservation of the region´s incredible biodiversity. With this vision in mind, projects like DestiMED provide Mediterranean protected areas and their private sector partners with the tools they need to develop, manage, and promote high quality ecotourism packages, both at local scale and together in a regional network. These products generate positive outcomes for conservation and communities by strengthening the local economy while minimizing impacts on natural and cultural resources.
For further information, please contact: Jeremy Sampson