Encyclopedia Tuesday, September 24, 2019 3044 hits

Developing sustainable tourism products for Mediterranean hinterland areas

Konstantinos ZAPOUNIDIS, Pieriki Anaptixiaki S.A.-O.L.A., Greece, pieriki@otenet.gr

Alexis SANCHO-REINOSO, 2CETT-University of Barcelona, Spain, alexis.sancho@cett.cat

Parthena PARTZALIDOU, Pieriki Anaptixiaki S.A.-O.L.A., Greece, pieriki@otenet.gr

Ramon SERRAT MULA, CETT-University of Barcelona, Spain



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Being established in 2013, the EMM (Emblematic Mediterranean Mountains) Network consists of nine complex living mountains located around the Mediterranean Sea. All these areas share a common challenge (facing unbalanced tourist flow concentrations) and –more important- their willingness to propose a new positioning for their tourism development policy. Since 2016, these mountain areas are working together in project EMbleMatiC (Emblematic Mountains as Coastal Destinations of Excellence) of the Interreg MED Programme (project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund), focusing on 3 objectives: (i) preserving patrimonial values from endogenous and exogenous threats; (ii) sharing positive experiences and good practices; and (iii) increasing international recognition. The project can be summarised in three steps:

1. To identify those aspects that can be understood as “emblematic” of the involved areas, i.e. those issues that can distinguish them from other territories. To define a series of common criteria to be fulfilled for      future network members.

2. To design testing actions in which nine ecojourneys (which have previously been conceived hand in hand with local stakeholders) are going to be implemented on the field. The ecojourneys are based on 30 common attributes that are related to (i) their basic characteristics, (ii) their associated services, (iii) ethics and sustainability issues, (iv) management and governance, and (v) marketing strategies.

3. To build up a transferring plan that will gather the results of a series of discussion sessions with local stakeholders (establishment owners, elected representatives, local tourism councils, local population) in order to provide a practical tool to other mountain areas experiencing similar dynamics.

While the results of the testing and transferring actions will finish only at the end of the project (October 2019), during the IMC, we will be able to bring most of the results from the project.



Bernues, A., Rodrıguez-Ortega T., Ripoll-Bosch, R. and Alfnes, F. (2014), Socio-Cultural and Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Mediterranean Mountain Agroecosystems. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102479. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102479.

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Mihalic, T. (2016). Sustainable-responsible tourism discourse – Towards ‘responsustable’ tourism. Journal of Cleaner Production, 111(Part B), 461-470

NORDREGIO (Nordic Center for Spatial Development). (2004). Mountain Areas in Europe: Analysis of mountain areas in EU member states, acceding and other European countries.

Price, M.F. (2009). Sustainable mountain development in Europe. In: Mather, A. and Bryden, J. (edit.). (2009). Area Studies (Regional Development Review): Europe, EOLSS/UNESCO.

Torres-Delgado, A., López Palomeque, F. (2014): Measuring sustainable tourism at the municipal level. Annals of Tourism Research ,49, 122-137.


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