CROSSDEV: a “Contingency Plan” to face the Covid-19 crisis
Bearing in mind that CROSSDEV's general objective is to contribute to the economic and social development in the Mediterranean area, now more than before, we must strive to find the best way to make our contribution.
The second CROSSDEV Steering Committee was a peculiar one. The meeting was supposed to be held in Amman, Jordan, with the participation of partners from the 4 countries involved in the project: Italy, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. But when the Covid-19 emergency exploded worldwide and became a pandemic, there was one only possible solution: holding the meeting online.
23 colleagues from 4 countries met virtually on March 30th, 2020.
As most countries all over the world are facing the health emergency, consequences of this unprecedented situation are already showing, meaning that tweaks and adjustments must be put in place in order to keep CROSSDEV objectives as relevant and effective as possible.
Consequences are and will be affecting the economies of all countries, while small and medium local businesses, – at the core of the CROSSDEV scopes – as well as the whole tourism industry, will be seriously hit.
“CROSSDEV intends to bring new hope to local communities and first-rate travel opportunities to conscious tourists by turning less-known places and rural areas into new routes of sustainable tourism, working tightly with the locals to revamp their traditions and cultural heritage and turning them into assets for socio-economic local development.”
The first six months of the project have been a great success, with the involvement of 2500+ families, 500+ students, 250+ stakeholders from the economic sector, institutions, Universities, and local and international civil society organizations.
The biggest result? The warm welcome and the collaboration of the people from all areas involved.
A CONTINGENCY PLAN
As the tourism industry is currently halted and the economy is expected to keep plummeting, CROSSDEV has to take into account new challenges during the future implementation of the project.
How? As always, our priority is supporting local communities and, in particular, the most vulnerable. Whilst the field activities will be postponed, there are many other activities that can be anticipated or carried out remotely.
The changes will involve the implementation of the action plans, while the project will keep supporting the locals towards their socio-economic development and contributing to the enhancement of the overall Mediterranean area.
Work tightly with the communities is even more relevant now. Eco-tourism and natural tourism will be even more important and sought after when the emergency is over. That’s the kind of tourism people will be after when they can finally go out again. And we will be there.