WINTER MED’s Policy Paper addresses the most pressing issues for sustainable tourism and builds on the Transnational Year-Round Tourism Strategy for Mediterranean Islands delivered by the project. This short policy paper, which aims to guide regional and national governments in the extension of the tourism season, received full consensus from partners during WINTER MED’s 7th Steering Committee, and was endorsed during the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission Political Bureau. The Policy Paper is now available for consultation.

The WINTER MED project has just published its policy paper which advocates for a joint commitment of tourism stakeholders towards an extension of the tourism season in Mediterranean island destination. Addressed to regional and national governments the document establishes links and synergies across the different initiatives of the project and the EU and MED policy framework with the final aim to gather policy advice for the extension of the tourism season and to influence the highest levels of decision making in this direction. WINTER MED’s Policy Paper is particularly relevant in the Mediterranean and European context in which the tourism sector evolves as it was drafted within the challenging framework of the COVID-19, especially critical for Coastal & Maritime Tourism in island territories.

Overall, the Policy Paper stresses the need to improve the sustainability of the sector by strengthening cooperation among Mediterranean destinations and different governance levels and insists on the need to better consider territorial needs and challenges advocated at the local and regional level. Through the document WINTER MED advocates for the need to improve the accessibility of the territories throughout the year, to foster the public-private collaboration, to place local communities at the heart and consider island’s specific needs.

The Policy Paper includes recommendations for different levels of governance and types of actors, public and private. On the one hand, it unknowledges the role to play by regions in the extension of the tourism season -e.g., monitoring data and tourism flows or developing regional integrated strategies –  and encourages the new Interreg Euro-MED programme, the NEXT MED programme and the DG GROW of the European Commission to endorse and promote the WINTER MED Transnational Year-Round Tourism Strategy for Mediterranean Island Destinations 2021-2026. On the other hand, it calls upon businesses and destinations to exploit the funds at their disposal to make their supply match the new needs of the sector, to integrate a circular model and to commit to play their role in the up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce.

All in all, the WINTER MED Policy Paper provides relevant guidelines for Mediterranean regions, many of them represented and gathered during the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission Political Bureau held on 9th February 2022. This meeting was the occasion for Mediterranean regions of the CPMR-IMC&IC to endorse the document while reflecting on the transition towards more sustainable tourism.

 

WINTER MED’s 7th Steering Committee: validating the Policy Paper and accelerating the last phase of the project

 

The WINTER MED Policy Paper is the fruit of a joint effort: it is based on the partner's experience after more than two years of project as well as on one of the project’s main results, the WINTER MED Transnational Strategy. After several months working on the document under the guidance of the CPMR-IMC&IC, partners met on the 2nd and 3rd of February to validate its final version in the framework of the project’s 7th Steering Committee that took place online.

The 7th Steering Committee was also  the occasion for partners to approve WINTER MED’s Memorandum of Understanding and unveil all the details of the advocacy campaign that will be launched soon. This campaign will serve to promote the Transnational Strategy and the policy advice gathered in the Policy Paper with the aim of integrating them in relevant local, regional and national policies of the Mediterranean and beyond. The strategy for this campaign, which will require a joint effort from partners, was presented and welcomed positively by the partnership.

Finally, the next events that will bring the partnership together were marked on the calendar. Among these, it is foreseen to organise different events gathering local, regional and national authorities in partners’ territories, as well as a final event of the project to promote the results of WINTER MED. Before all this, however, the partners will meet in Mallorca for a Study Visit by the end of April 2022.