The countries bordering the Mediterranean basin have recovered their role as the epicenter of world tourism after the crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact is supported by some key figures: the Mediterranean is the leading tourism area in the world-with nearly 400 million visitors-, it concentrates 30% of the global income generated by this industry and gathers 32% of international arrivals worldwide.
This data is provided by the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), organiser of the 9th Mediterranean Tourism Forum, alongside the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation and the collaboration of leading Euro-Mediterranean organizations. The Forum will be held on November 16, in the framework of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek), a conference created with the aim of promoting the economic promotion of this region worldwide.
Tourism plays a prominent role in the countries on both shores of the Mediterranean, since it accounts for 13% of their exports, 23% of the service sector activity in this area and employs more than 20 million people. In addition, the region concentrates 20% of the world’s hotel accommodation capacity.
The general coordinator of ASCAME, Anwar Zibaoui, highlights the ability of the tourism sector to adapt to changes and continue to grow, despite the many economic and geopolitical challenges that currently exist.
According to Zibaoui “the present and future challenges for the Mediterranean involve becoming a sustainable tourist destination and impose a shared responsibility based on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. The tourism of the future incorporates balanced and focused development goals”.
A regional tourism agency
During the forum, the need for Mediterranean countries to join forces to compete with other regions in a global market will be discussed, as well as promoting a sustainable tourism model that generates new business opportunities and ensures future growth. Anwar Zibaoui considers it essential to improve the capacity of the Mediterranean to continue attracting tourists, in order to strengthen its leadership position at a global level”.
Zibaoui states that, “the Mediterranean tourism industry currently lacks a formal organization capable of bringing together all its voices and representing and coordinating their shared interests, which makes it necessary to set up a regional tourism agency, created through public-public cooperation; privately and with the participation of all the agents involved to facilitate the promotion of a more competitive tourism model”.
The objective of this agency would be to create and consolidate a single brand for the entire Mediterranean in order to strengthen joint promotion systems and tools in a similar way as other regions, such as the Caribbean or Africa, are already doing.
About Medweek 2022
The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek Barcelona) is the main conference dedicated to promoting the economy of the Mediterranean worldwide. This event supports the key economic sectors and the new economy with a commitment to the Digital, Green and Blue economy and highlights the values of the Mediterranean as a bridge between three continents, Africa, Asia and Europe, through a wide variety of forums. Since its inception in 2006, MedaWeek Barcelona has been organized by the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, with the collaboration of more than 35 leading Mediterranean, European and International organisations.