The #Mediterranean is the world’s leading #tourism area with nearly 400 million tourists: 32% of all international arrivals and 30% of global revenues. It accounts for 13% of exports, 23% of the services sector and employs more than 20 million people. The region has 20% of the world’s hotel accommodation capacity. It has 10.000 #destinations, some 100.000 #hotels and one million #restaurants.
As a result of intense tourist flows, the area has witnessed both cultural and economic achievements, as well as impoverishment and environmental degradation. Many locations have been exploited and, at the same time, other locations with their natural resources have been neglected.
Increased international competition is nevertheless impacting the position of the Mediterranean region as a leading destination in the global market. Customers have changed.
There is a real need to adopt and introduce new consumer models translated into environmentally friendly tourism products, respecting natural resources and diversifying the seasonal nature of tourism demand. Product diversification and innovative tourism services are key drivers to maintain and enhance the attractiveness of the Mediterranean destination on international markets.
It is time for Mediterranean countries to rethink the economic model and find alternatives. We must reinvent and grow, work with the territories, review social tourism and care for heritage.
To do so, we all must work together, and join forces in order to compete in a global world and to bet on sustainable development capable of creating new opportunities that will allow us to continue on the path of growth. It is therefore an opportunity to reboot the sector and offer a more sustainable model.
To contribute to the transformation of the Mediterranean as a global tourist destination, this morning I moderated the 9th Mediterranean Tourism Forum, part of #MedaWeek22. I want to thank ASCAME and the organization for inviting me again and also to the professionals who have shared the stage with me (virtual and in person too): Mohamed Ismael, Adolfo Reyes, Rosana Morillo, Joze Tomas, Jonathan Gomez, Alaa Ezz, Roger A. Allen,Zdravko Tudor and Marika Mazzi.
Thanks for have committed to collaborate in order to compete better, as a more sustainable, more responsible, more humane and happier global destination.