There will be no future for tourism if sustainability and international collaboration are not part of the solution.

In a very peculiar time for tourism, an online event, organised by ACR+ and the European Parliament Intergroup for Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development in the framework of the Interreg MED BLUEISLANDS project, discussed the role that circular economy plays in the future of tourism and in the recovery phase after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Islands are a natural laboratory for the circular economy. Their unique social, economic and environmental characteristics, such as relative isolation, limited land space and scarcity of material resources, together with their natural and biodiversity capital, make them invaluable hotspots of change. The growing attention on the potential of sustainable tourism as a lever to promote circular economy is at the basis of BLUEISLANDS. The three-year long project highlighted that knowledge about the negative impact of tourism is out there and several small-scale pilot activities have been showing potential solutions to address it. These include research activities, pilot actions, capacity building workshops and awareness raising campaigns around waste prevention. The most essential results have been summarised in a booklet available in English and French. For a shorter version you can have a look at the Highlights from the studying and the testing phases.

A video recording of the event is available here.

A written report provides a short summary of each of the speakers’ interventions as well as of the Q&A session. It concludes with the take-away from MEP Maria Spyraki, host of the meeting, who highlighted the importance of understanding that tourism must be changed in regards of services, consumer models, and touristic residences and called for investing in circularity as an answer.  Presentations made during the event are also available online.

Read the full press release on the event: