The world is about to leave behind an unprecedented global health, social and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors.
A report released last June 30, 2021 estimates that the pandemic could cause a loss of more than $4 trillion (€3370 billion) to global GDP since the health crisis began. Already in 2020, international tourism has suffered a loss of $2400 billion (2020 billion euros) due to the direct and indirect impacts of declining tourism revenues. A similarly severe loss is estimated to occur later this year, despite some signs of recovery in the second half of 2021 as COVID-19 vaccination rates increase worldwide.
Of course, these crises do not exclude the Mediterranean, which is the world’s leading tourist area with an average of nearly 400 million tourists: it accounts for 32% of all international tourist arrivals and 30% of global tourism revenues. It also represents 13% of exports, 23% of the service sector and employs more than 20 million people. In the Mediterranean, tourism has always been an engine of growth, and will also be able to be an engine of economic recovery by leading to job creation and covering the need for external financing through increased foreign inflows. However, this sector, with the opportunity to start again almost from scratch, will have to readapt and reinvent itself, redefining practices and models with a view to sustainable development in order to keep pace with a rapidly changing world, to be made healthier and more liveable for new generations.
Starting from this belief at the end of 2020, the Mediterranean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism post COVID-19 (MAST) project was born, which aims to redefine tourism in the context of sustainable development and sustainable practices.
To do this, MAST calls on young people, teachers, entrepreneurs and operators in the tourism sector to update themselves on the situation of tourism in the Mediterranean area after the Covid-19 emergency (a one-hour refresher course is available) and to share ideas or projects for the revival of the sector in the post-Covid era with the guidance and support of the MAST team. The best ideas will be awarded and valued!
The program is funded by the UfM for Employment Promotion and is implemented by 5 partner organizations. The participating countries and partner organizations are:
- European Institute of Local Development – NGO – Greece,
- University of Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro (UPO) – University – Italy,
- Mediterranean Academy of Culture, Technology and Trade (MACTT) – NGO – Malta,
- Union Maghrebine et Nord Africaine des Agriculteurs (UMNAGRI) – ΜΚΟ – Τυνησία,
- Regional Observatory of Agriculture and Development (AORADRCS) – ΜΚΟ – Μαρόκο.
The invitation to all is to team up and create a community that can lead the revitalization of Mediterranean tourism towards growth models that are increasingly high-performing and sustainable.
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