MEDUSA Cross Border Seminar on Mediterranean Adventure Tourism
A virtual cross-border seminar on Mediterranean Adventure Tourism
A cross-border seminar on Mediterranean tourism products for the Adventure tourism segment was organized virtually on March 16, 2021 by the MEDUSA project to bring together more than 200 professionals in the tourism sector, including tour operators and tourism providers, marketing and development entities of the Mediterranean region, to present the adventure segment of the five partner territories and discuss elements of its future development.
Following the welcoming note given by the project lead Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the keynote speaker former Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Secretary General of World Tourism Forum Institute - H.E. Dr. Taleb Rifai, shared the future outlook of the Mediterranean region: “I believe Adventure Tourism is the future of tourism. It is not only the physical aspect and ability that make up an adventure experience, but also rather the memories and emotions that one enjoys while engaging in an adventure activity”. On adapting to post COVID-19 reality, Dr. Taleb added “It is imperative that all governments work together on a unified approach to ensure that all efforts taken are coordinated in a manner that facilitates travel rather than complicates it. We need to find safe and easy corridors within the new bubbles to allow tourism to restore in a sustainable manner. And it is the testing for COVID that can bring this unified approach rather than the vaccination process, as the former is more affordable and readily available to all countries, whereas the vaccine is not”.
During the event, the key findings of the Global Market Research & Analysis on Adventure Tourism in the Mediterranean were shared as a result of 4 prime publications developed by the project and focusing on: 1) Destination review from a socio-economic, political and environmental perspective and 2) Inventory of tourism assets, infrastructures and services, human and institutional capacity, both of which focus on the partner destinations of Puglia, Jordan, Catalonia, Tunisia, Lebanon. A third report assessed Market demand, supply and competitiveness in the adventure sector, while the last looked into Identification and analysis of sustainable innovative practices in Adventure Tourism.
In addition, participants exchanged ideas on sustainable innovative adventure tourism products identified in the region and elsewhere through five breakout sessions that focused on: product development and innovation in shaping the authentic experiences in Adventure travel; sustainability marketing and credibility; strategic alliance concept and its potential role in enhancing the competitiveness of the Mediterranean in Adventure Tourism; building travelers needs into business planning and growth in Adventure Tourism; and the role of adventure tourism in the economic sustainability of parks, natural reserves and conservation areas.
MEDUSA team used the opportunity to announce the upcoming Adventure treasures competition – a grants program of 750,000 Euros planned to be launched in the partner territories in summer 2021 and aiming to support product development and marketing efforts of MSMEs and other stakeholders working in the adventure tourism sector in the five territories.