DestiMED, a project financed by the Interreg Med Program, aims to build the preconditions for the creation of a Destination Management Organization (DMO) in the Mediterranean. The DestiMED project promotes the creation of standards and monitoring tools to measure and improve the sustainability and quality of ecotourism in the protected areas of the Mediterranean region.
The DestiMED project brings together 13 protected areas to collectively develop, manage and promote ecotourism throughout the region. Ecotourism packages are developed locally in cooperation with key stakeholders in the community, including protected area managers, tour operators, tourism providers and local decision-makers.
The project is based on the results of the MEET (Mediterranean Experiment of Ecotourism) project, where different planning and marketing approaches have been created and tested.
The partners of the DestiMED Project are the Lazio Region (coordinator, Italy), MedPAN (France), WWF Adria (Croatia), WWF Mediterranean (Italy), IUCN Mediterranean (Spain) and Federparchi (Italy).
Thanks to the DestiMED project, 13 pilot projects will be implemented in protected areas in six Mediterranean countries: France, Croatia, Greece, Spain, Albania and Italy.
MedPAN is responsible for coordinating Pilot Actions in Marine Protected Areas in France. To this end, terms of reference were launched in June and two MPAs were selected at the beginning of July 2017 to implement the pilot actions in ecotourism:
These two MPAs will start implementing the pilot action by first identifying a tour operator to manage the package and will proceed with building the package with local players. The package created will be tested twice with tourism experts as early as 2018.
First meeting of parks
In July 2017, the parks met for the first time in Malaga, Spain for training on the development of new ecotourism products. The two days of meetings were an opportunity to present the parks involved in the project, their link with ecotourism and the work accomplished on the packages that will be tested in the fall of 2017.
On September 25, DestiMED has launched the first of the 7 pilot tests that will take place this fall. Each of the territories will host a group of experts who will evaluate and provide comments and recommendations on the quality and viability of the packages tested.
Testers will also help collect data to measure and reduce the environmental impact of tourism on natural resources.
The 7 parks participating in the test this year are:
- Kornati National Park – Croatia
- Lastovo Islands Nature Reserve – Croatia
- Samaria National Park – Greece
- MPA of Torre del Cerrano – Italy
- Tuscan Mining UNESCO Global Geopark – Italy
- Biosphere Reserve Menorca – Spain
- Terres de L’Ebre Biosphere Reserve – Spain