One of the pillars of growth for the EU is Blue Growth, the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the maritime sector. A key driver of Blue Growth is sustainable coastal and maritime tourism, which is an integral part of the economy in the Mediterranean Basin. Our aim is to help the tourism sector in coastal regions embrace Blue Growth for a greener and more sustainable model of tourism. From participating actively in the European Maritime Day conference (Athens 2015) to supporting national marine parks, MedVenture's proud involvement in the sector is quite dynamic.
Ecotourism Greece, coastal and maritime tourism
MedVenture has promoted sustainable coastal and maritime tourism through its portal www.ecotourism-greece.com which in part is dedicated to enhancing the profile of marine parks and marine protected areas. The portal supports SMEs in the hospitality and tourism sector to raise their green profile, improve their branding and attract better (more environmentally aware) tourists with higher disposable income. Encouraging eco-friendly activities related to coastal tourism such as sailing, diving, windsurfing, kite-surfing and swimming forms a key component of Ecotourism Greece's Blue Growth philosophy.
Civitas, sea transport aspect
Contributing to sustainable maritime transport by actively supporting and working for the Civitas initiative, co-funded by the EU to promote sustainable urban transport. In collaboration with Intrasoft International, the team behind MedVenture supported the overall organization of the Civitas Forum 2013 in Brest, France, as well as the Civitas Forum 2014 in Casablanca, Morocco. It enhanced the Civitas Website through better text narration and visibility, in addition to helping articulate best practices in sustainable urban transport in Europe.
Promotion of EU-funded programs
MedVenture, under collaboration with Intrasoft International, has contributed to Blue Growth over the past five years through its expertise in communication and copywriting for the EU's Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS). It has written about and communicated the successes of EU-funded projects on sustainable development in the maritime and marine fields, raising awareness about environmental pressures on the sea and highlighting solutions for Blue Growth. Some of the success stories we have written in the field are:
- European network of excellence for ocean ecosystems analysis
- Digital Ocean: Underwater Data Collecting Robots
- Towards a joint European research infrastructure network for coastal observatories
- Joint maritime platform buoys sea research
- Clean break for aquaculture
- All-electric ships to set sail from Greece
MedVenture has partnered with Medasset (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles) which is based in Greece, in order to launch the Clean Seas: Swear to Care! campaign. The joint initiative reaches out to hotels in coastal areas and to their visitors in order to discourage littering on the coast.
Despite the fact that tourism is a significant economic driver, it can also be quite damaging to the planet’s environment and peoples. Overtourism is a common problem in some “hot spots” where degradation caused by inflow can vastly overwhelm even the benefits of tourism revenue, especially when that revenue is not distributed equitably.International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Ecotourism is now defined as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education. Education is meant to be inclusive of both staff and guests.UNESCO
All tourism activities of whatever motivation – holidays, business travel, conferences, adventure travel and ecotourism – need to be sustainable. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment”. It seeks to provide people with an exciting and educational holiday that is also of benefit to the people of the host country.UNWTO
When responsibly planned and managed, tourism has demonstrated its capacity to support job creation, promote inclusive social integration, protect natural and cultural heritage, conserve biodiversity, generate sustainable livelihoods and improve human wellbeing. As the sector is experiencing tremendous growth, collective efforts to ensure its long-term sustainability are essential.European Commission