The Development and Promotion of Mediterranean Sustainable Adventure Tourism Project (MEDUSA), a project co-financed by the European Union under the European Neighborhood Instrument cross-border cooperation program "Mediterranean Sea Basin" (ENI CBC MED), organized on Tuesday a cross-border virtual seminar on tourism adventure in the Mediterranean region.
The 3-year project is carried out in several countries, Jordan, Spain, Lebanon, Italy and Tunisia. In Jordan, it is implemented by the Jordanian Incoming Tourism Association (JITOA) and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN).
The overall objective of the project is to develop a competitive form of adventure tourism in the Mediterranean, that is based on environmental, social and economic sustainability values. In particular, it seeks to identify and valorize territorial assets for developing adventure tourism products, especially off-season, based on a thorough understanding of market demand drivers, supply and competitiveness variables.
More than 200 participants from the tourism sector, including tour operators, tourism service providers, development and marketing institutions in the Mediterranean region, attended the seminar which sought to highlight adventure tourism in the five countries where the project is developed, in addition to future development plans.
Former Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization and the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Forum Institute, Dr. Talib Rifai, spoke about the future vision of the Mediterranean region, saying: "I am confident that adventure tourism will be the pillar of tourism in the future."
"It is not just about the physical element and the ability to undertake the adventure, but also the memories and feelings that accompany the pleasure of choosing this adventure," he added.
On a post-covid world, Rifai indicated that it is necessary for governments to come together and work hand in hand on a unified approach that ensures good coordination of efforts to facilitate travel and tourism.
He said: "It is necessary to find safe and easy corridors that allow the restoration of tourism activity in a sustainable way. The coronavirus test can be a more unified approach than the vaccine process, because it is available in all countries at reasonable prices, unlike the vaccine."
The project leader in Jordan, Lina Al-Khaled, said that Jordan boasts many tourist levers that qualify it to be a trailblazer in adventure tourism, including green landscapes, deserts, and unique spots such as the Dead Sea and Ma'in Hot Springs.
Director of Ecotourism at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature Ashraf Barqawi noted that the project's long-term plan aims to introduce new adventure tourism products and train tour operators and guides, in addition to creating and disseminating electronic content about this type of tourism.
During the seminar, the Mediterranean Adventure Tourism Treasures Competition was announced and will be launched in the summer of 2021 in the five countries participating in the project. The competition is a 750,000-euro grant program and will target tourism adventures startups and other stakeholders.