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Ms. Ana Moniche, Senior Officer Statistics and Market Research, Turismo Andaluz
Ms. Manuela Bigi, Manager Economic promotion and Tourism Department, Tuscany Region (online)
Mr. Ignacio de las Cuevas, Manager of Centre of Excellence in Tourism Innovation, Eurecat
Mr. Patrick Torrent, Executive Director, Catalan Tourist Board
Ms. Marta Salvador, Innovation Coordinator, Tourism Innovation Center Portugal
Moderates: Mr. Edgar Weggelaar, Vice-President, TIS Global Summit
Digitalisation of the economy and society in a broader sense, and the increased scope for data generation, data collection and services will provide opportunities to transform the tourism industry. On the other hand, the digital connectivity is a key issue for all kind of destinations, who should also have the capacity to provide digitally enhanced tourism services, and for tourism SMEs, who should also count on the basic digital infrastructures needed to implement more digital business processes and to develop digital tourism products. Further, skills for using and strategically integrating digital tools in work and decision-making processes can facilitate developing and implementing more effective and better quality services to meet the changing demand and expectations of the customers.
This panel centres on how Mediterranean destinations and companies can benefit from applying new and existing tools that can foster their digitalisation.
Ms. Abigail Garrido, Councillor for Tourism, Barcelona Provincial Council
Ms. Marta Domènech, General Director for Tourism, Generalitat de Catalunya
Mr. Curzio Cervelli, Coordinator, Interreg MED Joint Secretariat (online)
Mr. Fernando Valdés, Tourism Secretary of State, Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism
Ms. Dora Papatheochari, Researcher, University of Thessaly
Ms. Gloria Lázaro, Programme Officer, Plan Bleu
Introduction: Mr. Josep Rodríguez, MED Sustainable Tourism Community Coordinator, Barcelona Provincial Council
The MED Sustainable Tourism Community is an Interreg MED initiative co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) launched in November 2016. It gathers 30 territorial cooperation projects and more than 200 organisations active in 13 European countries that join forces to make tourism a real driver for inclusive and sustainable growth. After a period of six years of implementation, the Community will introduce the second edition of the Catalogue of outputs that collects the main solutions developed by the projects of the Community, and a Best practices report on capitalisation that showcase how the results have improved the public policies on tourism.
Ms. Valentina Superti, Director for Toursim and Proximity, European Comission
Introduction: Ms. Cristina Núñez, Director, NECSTouR – Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism
The Tourism Transition Pathway (TTP) was published by the European Commission on February 2022 as the first in a series of transition pathways for EU industrial ecosystems, in response to the European Council invitation to develop a European program for tourism with the Member States and relevant stakeholders. The TTP is the result of a co-creation process involving an online consultation and several workshops and meetings with stakeholders aiming to identify the actions, targets and conditions needed for the green and digital transition and long-term resilience of the European tourism industry. The final report invites the European tourism community to implement measures in 27 areas. To this end, the Commission launched a call for commitments and participation in the co-implementation of the TTP inviting tourism stakeholders to inform about the commitments the organisation has made, to support the green and digital transition towards a resilient tourism ecosystem and to express the interest of the organisations to participate in the Task forces to support and follow the green, digital, and resilient aspects of the TTP co-implementation.
In this session Ms. Valentina Superti, Director of Tourism and Proximity at DG GROW, will present the Tourism Transition Pathway, the insights that European tourism stakeholders are sharing through their response to the “call for commitment to co-implement the TTP”, and invite the members of the Sustainable Tourism Community to express their commitments, examples, challenges, possible solutions and need for European action.
Ms. Virginia Fernández Trapa, Programme Officer Sustainable Development, UNWTO
Mr. Jeremy Smith, Co-Founder, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
Mr. Jaume Mata, Head of Sustainable Tourism, Visit Valencia
Mr. Pau Pitarch, Partner Consultant, PAX Consulting
Moderates: Mr. Javier Villayamor, Coordinator, Area for Economic Development, Tourism and Trade, Barcelona Provincial Council
Short presentation: ZeroCO2 MED Project: Mr. Joan Colón, Head of the Sustainability Accounting and Optimization Unit, BETA Tech Center / UVic-UCC
The growing number of natural disasters each year is threatening the natural and cultural heritage on which tourism destinations rely to attract visitors, whereas coastal destinations and other areas of natural beauty may also be particularly vulnerable to climate impacts. The green transition of tourism services and activities is inevitably linked with the implementation of initiatives related to environmental protection and climate neutrality, and the 82% of Europeans are already willing to change their travel habits for more sustainable practices, according to a Eurobarometer survey from October 2021. Global initiatives such as the Glasgow Declaration show how we are at a turning point towards the acceleration of the climate action in tourism.
This panel centres on the need that the tourism industry responds and faces the already visible challenges and impacts that the climate change is bringing, and how can it contribute to accelerate the current scheme and dynamics towards a real climate action.
Mr. Vincent Ernoux, Managing Authority, ENI CBC Med Programme
Ms. Deborah Rezzoagli, Director of Geographic Area, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP)
Mr. Julien Le Tellier, Programme Management Officer, United Nations Environment Programme / Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP)
Mr. Ghassan Tayoun, Deputy mayor, Zgharta / Ehden Municipality
Moderates: Mr. Marcello Scalisi, Director of UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union
In 1995, the Barcelona Declaration launched the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the objective to create an area of peace, shared prosperity, and human and cultural exchanges. Since then, much has been achieved in the cultural, academic and civil society cooperation but there is still much to do at economic and political level, even though these sectors were considered strategic and top priorities. Even if we have abandoned ambitious initiatives such as the “free trade area”, the recent announcement of a “New agenda for the Mediterranean” is a concrete proof that a strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic imperative for European countries. Amongst the economic sectors we should pay more attention to in this renewed framework, there should surely be tourism for its potential of leading a positive transformation and impact on the Mediterranean most urgent and strategic challenges such as: climate change, biodiversity protection and innovation and competitiveness. Besides, we have learned from the experience of the Sustainable Tourism Community, and not only, that a bottom-up political and governance approach aiming at promoting more sustainable tourist models and practices can trigger virtuous social and economic integration processes; as well as strengthen the cultural cooperation amongst Euro-Mediterranean communities that takes into account each other specificities, exigencies and sensibilities.
From the contribution of a network association of municipalities, a UN agency specialised in Environmental Protection and an association as well as the experience of a managing authority we will better understand how transnational and international cooperation programs can contribute to make tourism become a real driver for economic and cultural development and, ultimately, to shape the future “Mediterranean Generation”.
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