In the Mediterranean, tourism is one of the most important economic sectors and a driving force for economic development. It is expected to continue to grow, with the number of visitors increasing from around 200 million to more than 300 million visitors by 2030.*
For the Mediterranean’s rich biodiversity, irresponsible tourism activities and opportunistic, unplanned or not properly managed development has damaged sensitive marine and coastal ecosystems. On the other hand, sustainable and responsible tourism can increase public awareness and generate investments that ensure better protection for ecosystems and species that travellers seek out to visit and experience.
For sea turtles, tourism is one of the key drivers of their habitat loss in the region and consequently a threat to their survival.
A major aim of MEDASSET is to promote responsible tourism among tourists and the tourism sector. By influencing tourists we aim to increase the number of responsible travellers who strive to minimise their footprint as visitors and who adopt a sea turtle-friendly behaviour during their travels and holidays. Such tourists also have the power to create the demand for more sustainable tourism services in a global ecological hot-spot such as the Mediterranean.
We work directly with tourism businesses to spread the word among guests, and to assist these businesses to adopt best practices that minimise the impacts of their operations on the marine and coastal environment, and especially on sea turtles. We provide advice and materials related to sea turtle conservation in the Mediterranean to the sector on an ongoing basis, and also implement joint activities.
We welcome tourism business (offering e.g. hospitality services, recreation and entertainment services, transportation and travel services, etc) wishing to make a difference to get in touch with us.
*World Tourism Organization, Tourism Highlights, 2012.