Conference addresses climate change and mountain tourism


The EMbleMatiC Mediterranean Mountains project closing conference took place in Anogia, Crete, Greece from 1 - 2 October. This InterregMed-financed project has explored how to promote sustainable tourism and manage unbalanced tourist flows in specific mountain areas with common characteristics, such as being geographically close to the Mediterranean coast with strong cultural identity, but receiving few benefits from summer coastal tourism. 

Organized by the Cretan partner of the project, the Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark, the conference theme was, “EMbleMatiC Ecojourneys: Developing Alternative Sustainable Tourism in Mediterranean Hinterland Areas”.

The nine partners of the project, local authorities, academics, experts in sustainable tourism and other relevant stakeholders, as well as representatives of other InterregMed-financed projects in the “sustainable tourism” category, convened to discuss the challenges of developing sustainable tourism in these mountain regions.

The first day consisted of an excursion through the major attractions of the Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark. The following day was a wrapping up day, including partners’ presentations of the final project results. The insight of experts and academics on the project was often converging; they agreed that tourism policies in mountain regions need to account for the challenges of climate change, in terms of both adaptation and mitigation. Climate change will increasingly push tourists to mountains, as they seek to escape the warming lowlands and heatwaves, but this leads to the major concern of over-tourism and unregulated flows. Lecturers noted that a proactive approach must be taken to develop adequate tourism strategies.

Patricia Quillacq, Policy Officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, presented the Mountain Partnership’s work for sustainable mountain development and brought to the discussion the worldwide partnership’s view on the pressing global challenges of tourism in mountain regions.

Quillacq gave some closing remarks: “Keep asking for national recognition of mountains in laws and policies and to require the national authorities to bring mountains at the international level so, altogether, we can make the mountains a more prominent field of policy because, truly, mountains matter.”

Read more

Photo from Patricia Quillacq

Home > mountain-partnership > News