A partnership of PA management-related Institutions at regional level
The project partnership is led by Federparchi – Europarc Italy with the involvement of the main PA policy-maker Institutions of 6 Mediterranean countries (Italy, France, Spain, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon), including IUCN Med and IUCN ROWA, the French National Parks Federation, MedPAN (the network of the Marine Protected Areas of the Mediterranean), Lazio and Cataluña Regional governments, the Jordan Royal Society for Conservation of Nature and the Al Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon. This top-level partnership assured political support, strong management and wide dissemination of the project results.
A reliable participative planning tool
Any development of a huge human pressure like tourism must be carefully planned, managed and monitored. For this reason the MEET packages are part of a wider sustainable tourism planning process based on the “European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in the Protected Areas” (already implemented in more than 130 European Parks), where all the local stakeholders are involved in establishing the Strategy and selecting the actions to be implemented by the Park Authority for assuring the sustainability of the tourism sector in the Protected Area.
A marketing-oriented approach
Different typologies of tourists visit PAs; we focussed our action towards the most suitable ones (the eco-tourists) because, beside their profitability potential, they can become the “Ambassadors” of a new model of visiting the Parks, i.e. the MEET approach, the latter forcing the PA managers – with the involvement of the local stakeholders – to design a tourism package of high quality. Each package lasts at least days, and it includes natural and cultural attractions, as well as traditional activities with a local community. The group cannot exceed 16 people.
The project has created a Network of 20 selected PAs from 8 Mediterranean countries (Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Malta, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia) which has a Secretariat (IUCN Med) and an Antenna (IUCN ROWA), which assure capacity building support and the promotion of the “MEET Catalogue of packages” (offering more than 40 packages for small groups) towards far markets like USA, Australia, Canada, North Europe, etc. Such sources of income should guarantee for the future the sustainability of the Network.