Tourism in the integrated coastal zone management by K8R0b2R9


									                            United Nations Environment Programme
                                   Mediterranean Action Plan
                     Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre

        Forum on Integrated Coastal Management in the Mediterranean: Towards Regional Protocol
                                       Cagliari, 28-29 May 2004

                       COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

                                               Alessio Satta
                                         Ecobilancio, Roma, Italia

1       Introduction

Tourism represents one of the most important economic activities in all Mediterranean countries and
Spain, France and Italy alone are ranked between the first five destinations of the world in terms of
arrivals. The Mediterranean represents the first destination in the world, chosen by one tourist out of
three. The explosion of tourism in the Mediterranean occurred in the 60’s for the coincidence of some
factors: the improved quality of life in northern Europe countries, the reduction of working hours, paid
holidays and the increased rapidity of mass transportation. Tourism in the Mediterranean has for long time
been considered as the tourism of Sun, Sand and Sea, and the Mediterranean climate still represents the
first factor of attraction for tourists coming from all over the world. Tourism is not a homogeneous
phenomena neither for its origin nor for its characteristics. Tourism is much more developed in the
northern part of the Mediterranean although recently we assist to a widespread development of tourism
also in the south. For a long time, the unstable political situation and the scarce presence of infrastructures
have been the main reasons for this discrepancy. The statistic data provided by the World Tourism
Organization or by Eurostat, concerning tourist flows, are basically collected at the national level and they
do not make any distinction between regions (i.e. Mediterranean regions and Atlantic regions). When we
affirm that Mediterranean countries represent 30% of the world tourism arrivals we are considering the
tourism flows of the totality of the countries. Mediterranean coasts have been exposed to a massive
pressure during the last decades but this pressure is unevenly distributed, being mostly concentrated in
the northern part of the Mediterranean and during the summer season. Tourism in the Mediterranean
coastal areas has always been based on a model of development and growth with the following

       a business system having as first target the growth in number of tourists, independently from the
        carrying capacity of a territory;
       priority given to short term benefits and incomes, without taking into account middle and long
        term effects on the environment: in fact, tourism offers homogeneity and standardization that
        reproduce everywhere the same typology of land use and architectures; moreover, it exerts strong
        pressure on the environment with impacts on the natural resources and on the quality of
        landscape, as well as the local community and the cultural heritage.

The impacts of tourism in coastal areas arise from the construction of infrastructure (e.g. hotels, marinas,
transport and waste treatment facilities, etc.) and from recreation (golf courses, water sports, thematic
parks, beach access and parking, etc.). Problems in this sector differ from other economic sectors in that
the degradation of the environment results in the degradation of the industry itself with knock-on effects
in other industries. Many efforts have been carried out by international organizations and the European
Community. We focus on the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) activities and particularly on PLAN BLEU
and Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centres. The Mediterranean WWF International
Mediterranean Programme Office (WWF MedPO) is working for the definition of a set of guidelines for
sustainable tourism investment in ecologically vulnerable areas along the Mediterranean coasts. Other
initiatives have shown that a way for the sustainable development of tourism through a strong cooperation

between Mediterranean countries is possible: Calvià and the Province of Rimini have developed an
important project integrating sustainable tourism development and coastal area management. Tourism is a
key factor of the Mediterranean countries economy because it represents an important opportunity for a
fast and integrated development from which other sectors can have benefits. We will conclude by
proposing some principles for the integration of sustainable tourism philosophy in the Integrated Coastal
Management Approach and for the preparation of the ICZM protocol.

2     Processes and trends of tourism in the Mediterranean

2.1 Tourism key figures for Mediterranean countries

2.1.1 General situation
Since the mid '90s employment generated by the tourism industry within the Mediterranean area has been
generally increasing. Tourism employment in Algeria increased by 48% in 1998 compared to 1995, in
Turkey by 45% and in Tunisia by 14%. In the European Union, the labour force employed in the hotel and
catering sector has increased by 2.3% for the same reference years. On the other hand, in Italy it
diminished by 21%. France, Spain and Italy, three countries within the region, are among the ten
strongest tourist destinations in the world. These destinations’ market share is 32%, 21% and 18%
respectively in terms of arrivals to the Mediterranean region and 23%, 24% and 21% in terms of
international tourism receipts. These countries are also tourist generators. Domestic tourism also plays a
major role in these countries, with the result that a high proportion of people living in cities and towns
move to the coastal stretches.

2.1.2 Travel in the Balance of Payments
Total international travel receipts in the Euro-Mediterranean region in 1995 amounted to 140 247 million
euros, 90% of which is attributable to the European Union. In 1998, total travel receipts for the Euro-
Mediterranean region amounted to 175 823 million euros, i.e. 25.4% more than in 1995. In 1998 the
Mediterranean countries recorded an increase of 32.7% in their total international tourism earnings
compared to 1995, while the European Union recorded an increase of 24.6%. All Mediterranean countries
recorded such growth: Algeria, with an increase of 169.8%, Morocco (71.9%), Turkey (68.9%), Palestine
(52.8%), Jordan (36.5%) and Tunisia (26.8%), followed by Malta, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Syria. Of the
EU countries France, Spain and Italy are the top ranking international tourism export earners, with EURO
26 745 million, EURO 26 666 million and EURO 26 640 million respectively in 1998. Among Mediterranean
countries, Turkey is the largest international tourism export earner, with EURO 6 402 million. In 1998,
Turkey recorded the largest surplus with EURO 4 837 million, followed by Tunisia with EURO 1 268 million
and Egypt with EURO 1 264 million. In 1998 Jordan recorded the highest percentage increase in its net
travel account (108.5%), followed by Morocco with a 74.9%. The travel account surplus for the
Mediterranean countries as a whole amounted to EURO 11 166 million compared to EURO 8 679 million in
1995, increasing by 28.7%. In the years between 2000 and 2002 we assist to a sharp reduction of receipts
and balance of payments due to the crisis of September the 11 th. If we analyse the difference between
2001 and 2002 in southern and middle east Mediterranean countries we notice a general decline: Morocco
(-12%), Egypt (-16%), Turkey (-11%) the European Mediterranean countries seem to be less influenced in
2002: Spain (-5%), France (+2%), Italy (-3%). Considering the sum of all Mediterranean countries we
register a decrease of 4% in payment receipts and a 5% decrease in the balance of payments.

2.1.3 Infrastructure and accommodation capacity
In 1998 there were over 194 669 hotels and similar establishments in the Euro-Mediterranean region and
Mediterranean countries accounted for 8177 of them, with an accommodation capacity of nearly 1.2
million bed-places. Compared to 1995, the number of hotels and similar establishments in the Euro-
Mediterranean region dropped slightly by 1.1%, whereas the number of bed-places increased by 5.6%. In
1998 compared to 1995, the number of hotels and similar establishments in the Mediterranean countries
increased significantly by 10.1% and the number of bed-places by 13.5%. The country that registered the
highest increase in the number of hotels and similar establishments in the Mediterranean country in 1998
compared to 1995 was Palestine (53.3%), with an annual average growth rate of 15.4% over the four

years. other Mediterranean countries also recorded increases in 1998 compared to 1995; Algeria by
19.6%, Egypt by 15.6% Tunisia by 13.1% and Lebanon by 12.0%. France and Italy recorded decreases of
2.9% and 2.2% for the same reference years. All the Mediterranean countries reported positive trends
also in the number of bed-places in 1998 compared to 1995, albeit to varying degrees. Palestine increased
its bed-places capacity by more than 32% and Egypt by 29%; Lebanon followed with a growth of nearly
25% and Israel with 20%.

             Hotel and similar establishment                                    N um ber of beds

 88500                                                        7100000

 88000                                                        7000000

 86000                                                        6500000
                2001                          2002                           2001                                        2002

                       Number of establishments                                     N u m b e r o f b e d -p l a c e s

Hotel and similar establishment (2001- 2002)                      Number of bed places (2001 – 2002)

With regards to the EU countries, France and Ireland showed substantial increases in 1998 compared to
1995, of 21.6% and 20.9% respectively. Following the same premises of establishment also for bed
places, we propose a comparison between 2001 and 2002. The result is a decrease of 5% that can be
justified with a general trend in reducing the number of total beds for the improvement of hotel rooms
quality standard.

2.1.4 Tourism demand
The EU countries bordering the Mediterranean sea all recorded increases in total nights spent in 1998
compared to 1995: Greece 14.5%, Spain 12.0%, France 12.7% and Italy 2.6%. In the Mediterranean
countries, Lebanon and Turkey registered the highest increases in the total number of nights spent in
hotels and similar establishments for the reference years, with 70.8% and 63.2%, respectively. On the
other hand, Algeria (-17.7%), Jordan (-9.3%) and Syria (-6.3%) showed a decrease in the total number of
nights in hotels and similar establishments in 1998 compared to 1995. With the exception of Israel (-
18.8%), Egypt (-1.5%) and Syria (-1.0%), the number of nights spent by non-residents in hotels and
similar establishments in the Mediterranean countries increased during the period 1995-1998. Turkey
registered the highest number of nights spent by non-residents in hotels showing a growth of 64.7% in
1998 compared to 1995. The growth rate for Palestine was enormously high (450.5%) in 1998 compared
to 1995. In 1998, the number of nights spent by non-residents in hotels and similar establishments in
almost all the EU and Mediterranean countries represented the most important segment. In the
Mediterranean area, there is the exception of Algeria with non-resident nights accounting for only 4.4% of
total nights. Arrivals at the borders, both in terms of total visitor arrivals and tourist arrivals (overnight
visitors), have experienced in general a positive trend for the reference years, with the exception of Israel
that registered a decrease of 13.5% in the arrivals of visitors in 1998 compared to 1995. Turkey registered
the highest number of arrivals of visitors in the Mediterranean countries, and recorded an increase of
26.2% in 1998 compared to 1995. In 1999 compared to 1998 all Mediterranean countries, except Turkey,
recorded an increase.

Total nights spent in collective tourist accommodation remained stable between 2000 and 2002. This
result is mainly explained by the balance between nights spent by residents and night spent by non-
residents in the different countries.

                                             Night spent in collective tourist accomodation






                                                 2000                  2001                  2002
                                       Total nights spent               Nights spent by residents
                                       Nights spent by non-residents

        Total nights spent in collective tourist accommodation between 2000 and 2002

3       Impacts of tourism activities in the Mediterranean coastal

3.1 General considerations

Tourism is an essential source of income for many coastal communities. Faced with the prospect of
increasing their revenue, more and more coastal communities have turned to tourism as a means of
generating complementary economy. The loss of environmental quality has been often tolerated although
many local people have benefited from the increase of their prosperity. Over-development and
environmental degradation have generated the degradation of many destination touristic appeal. If the
coastal area appeal is damaged, for example, by water pollution (see the Adriatic Riviera after the
“Mucillagine” crisis in 1987), the main source of income for these areas dies, and as a consequence
opportunities for attracting other activities besides tourism are destroyed. Tourism impacts in the
Mediterranean are not spread uniformly, due to a variable concentration in both space and time along a
thin coastal strip.

3.2 Impacts associated to the construction of tourism infrastructures

3.2.1 Tourism facilities
Increased construction of tourism and recreational facilities has increased the pressure on natural
resources and on landscapes. Direct impact on natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in
the provision of tourist facilities can be caused by the use of land for accommodation and other
infrastructure provision, and the use of building materials. Forests often suffer negative impacts of tourism
in the form of deforestation caused by fuel wood collection and land clearing. Construction of resort
accommodation and facilities frequently requires clearing forested land. Coastal wetlands are often drained
and filled due to lack of more suitable sites for construction of tourism facilities and infrastructure. These
activities can cause severe disturbance and erosion of the local ecosystem, even destruction in the long
term. Massive tourist facilities, particularly hotels and apartment complexes, have been built extensively in
the northern part of the Mediterranean coast starting from the 1960s and continue now to be developed in
the southern and the middle east. As a result of this sea-front development, large-scale beach and dune
erosion occurred. This is not only an ecological problem but an economic one: facilities sited on beaches
are susceptible to storm damage and the effects of accelerated sea level rise. Other important impacts
generator are marinas. Development of marinas and breakwaters can cause changes in currents and
coastlines. Furthermore, extraction of building materials such as sand affects coral reefs and hinterland
forests, leading to erosion and destruction of habitats.

3.2.2 Impacts of recreational activities
The impact of recreational activities may be associated with intensive tourist development or non-tourist
recreational pressures in urban and/or rural areas. Noise from motor boats and jet skis, cars and buses,

nightlife and other activities is one of the more significant problems arising from recreation. Golf courses
have a long association with coastal areas. In many areas, long-established links courses are an integral
part of the local economy and many of them have helped to conserve valuable fragments of dune habitat
from encroaching urbanisation and agriculture. The impacts of such developments have included
modification of dune soils, loss of natural vegetation, disturbance of sensitive wildlife and extra demands
on limited water resources.

3.3 Depletion of natural resources and pollution

3.3.1 Tourism pressure generates depletion of resources
Tourism development can put pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where
resources are already scarce. Tourism has impacts on environmental quality – the treatment and disposal
of solid and/or liquid wastes, particularly during peak tourist seasons, may be inadequate or at worst non-
existent. A large quantity of water is consumed not only for drinking but for showers, laundry, swimming
pools and the maintenance of golf courses, which can be a major problem in regions where freshwater
resources are limited. Given that coastal regions are primary tourist destinations, sensitive marine and
coastal environments and coastal communities suffer dramatically and this also due to the lack of
agreements and incompatibility of usage within the coastal area that generate conflict between the
different criteria of the people involved. The complex level of impacts interaction demonstrate the need to
make an integral coastal zone management. Water resources

Water, and especially fresh water, is one of the most critical natural resources. The tourism industry
generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use of water by
tourists. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies, as well as generating a
greater volume of waste water. In dryer regions like the Mediterranean, the issue of water scarcity is of
particular concern. Because of the hot climate and the tendency of tourists to consume more water when
on holiday than they do at home, the amount used can run up to 400/500 litres a day. Golf course
maintenance can also deplete fresh water resources. In recent years golf tourism has increased in
popularity and the number of golf courses has grown rapidly. Golf courses require an enormous amount of
water every day and, as with other causes of excessive extraction of water, this can result in water
scarcity. If the water comes from wells, over pumping can cause saline intrusion into groundwater. Local resources

Tourism can create great pressure on local resources like energy, food, and other raw materials that may
already be in short supply. Greater extraction and transport of these resources exacerbates the physical
impacts associated with their exploitation. Because of the seasonal character of the industry, many
destinations have ten times more inhabitants in the high season as in the low season. A high demand is
placed upon these resources to meet the high expectations tourists often have (heating, hot water, etc.).

3.3.2 Pollution generated by tourism activities
Tourism can cause the same forms of pollution as any other industry: air emissions, noise, solid waste and
littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural/visual pollution. Air pollution and noise

Transport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing in response to the rising number of tourists and
their greater mobility. One consequence of this increase in air transport is that tourism now accounts for
more than 60% of air travel and is therefore responsible for an important share of air emissions. Transport
emissions and emissions from energy production and use are linked to acid rain, global warming and
photochemical pollution. Air pollution from tourist transportation has impacts on the global level, especially

from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to transportation energy use and it can contribute to severe
local air pollution. Solid waste and littering

In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a
serious problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment - rivers, scenic
areas, and roadsides. Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and
shoreline and cause the death of marine animals. Solid waste disposal is becoming more and more urgent
especially for small islands that have to face a massive production during the summer peak related to the
absence of urban landfill in these islands. Sewage and Groundwater pollution

Construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to increased sewage pollution.
Wastewater has polluted seas and lakes surrounding tourist attractions, damaging the flora and fauna.
Sewage runoff causes serious damage underwater ecosystems like coral reefs because it stimulates the
growth of algae, which cover the filter-feeding corals, hindering their ability to survive. Salinization of the
aquifers and disappearance of humid zones. Salinization is directly related to the increase in population
and the overexploitation of wells, which provokes an intrusion of saline water. The quantity of water
needed to supply the population in summer cannot be supplied by the available water resources in the
Mediterranean small islands. Sea water pollution

Occasional or accidental evacuation from the sea or from the land. In summer we note and register a
notable loss of sea quality due to spillage, either direct or indirect, from maritime pollution or from
mountain streams in times of torrential rainfall.

3.4 Impacts on the biodiversity

Attractive landscape sites, such as sandy beaches, lakes, riversides, are often transitional zones,
characterized by species-rich ecosystems. Typical physical impacts include the degradation of such
ecosystems. An ecosystem is a geographic area including all the living organisms (people, plants, animals,
and micro organisms), their physical surroundings (such as soil, water, and air), and the natural cycles
that sustain them. The ecosystems most threatened with degradation are ecologically fragile areas such as
wetlands, coral reefs and sea grass beds. The threats to and pressures on these ecosystems are often
severe because such places are very attractive to both tourists and developers. Excessive presence and
lack of conservation in the natural and cultural patrimony. One example of this is the effect of the boats
anchoring in the underwater prairies of Posidonia, where the survival of the algae is threatened. One of
the most impressive effects on the marine fauna is caused by the increase of the amateur fishing,
particularly the underwater fishing.

4     Mediterranean Action Plan and sustainable tourism: activities,
      tools and instruments
The Mediterranean countries and the European Union work together since 1975 through the
Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), under the wing of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), first to
protect the marine environment and, since 1995, also to promote regional sustainable development,
biodiversity conservation and integrated management of the coastal areas, all in the framework of the
Barcelona Convention and MAP Phase II. MAP gets different sectors of Mediterranean society involved in
preserving the region's rich human and natural resources that have been eroded by rapid development,
not always planned with a view on the need for sustainability. Activities are:

       Combating land-based pollution, in particular from areas that feature the heaviest concentration of
        pollutants from human activities, known as pollution hot spots;
       Preventing maritime accidents and illegal discharges from ships: MAP marked a milestone on the
        path towards achieving maritime safety in the Region through the new Prevention and Emergency
       Safeguarding natural and cultural resources;
       Managing coastal areas;
       Integrating the environment and development. MAP strives to reverse the current situation in
        many Mediterranean countries where environmental concern still has too little an impact on
        development policies.

4.1 Mediterranean Action Plan recommendations and proposals for Tourism
    and Sustainable development

On the occasion of their 11th meeting, the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention have adopted
several recommendations and proposal regarding tourism and sustainable development in the
Mediterranean. These recommendations are the result of the efforts of the Mediterranean Commission for
Sustainable Development (MCSD) created in 1996. MCSD worked to put forward concrete proposals
intended for those countries who signed the Barcelona Convention. In particular, three main lines of
intervention have been defined:

       Managing environmental impacts
       Promoting a better integration of tourism with the environment and sustainable development
       Fostering development and cooperation in the Mediterranean

    These considerations led to define an action plan comprising the following actions:

            1. experience exchange between tourism destinations in the Mediterranean
            2. promotion of Mediterranean ecolabels
            3. awareness building at regional level
            4. promotion of financial and economic instruments for the protection and management of
               tourism destinations
            5. study of a system for regional cooperation
            6. organization of a regional workshop in 2002

4.2 Blue Plan activities

The Blue Plan provides a package of data as well as systemic and prospective studies, combined in certain
cases with proposals for action, which are intended to provide the Mediterranean countries with useful
information for implementing sustainable socio-economic development that does not result in degradation
of the environment. The Blue Plan’s general mission is the observation, evaluation and exploration in the
relationships between populations, the environment and development, as well as studies and summaries
on themes that are priorities for the Mediterranean Basin. The Blue Plan is led to play an important role as
a "support centre" for the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD). Within this
framework it has especially contributed to work done on strategic proposals about water, the tourist
industry and indicators for sustainable development.

In its function as a Mediterranean Environment and Development Observatory, the Blue Plan endeavours
to promote in the Mediterranean countries the creation of national observatories, the use of “indicators” on
the environment and sustainable development and the strengthening of capacities in the field of
environmental statistics (MEDSTAT-Environment Project).

4.2.1 Prospective for Mediterranean tourism development

In the publication “Tourisme et Environnement en Méditerranée: Enjeux et prospective”, issued in 1995,
the Blue Plan experts defined several long term scenarios for developing tourism in the Mediterranean
while respecting the environment.

According to WTO (World Tourism Organization) and PLAN BLEU studies, the following exogenous
variables strongly influence the future of tourism in the Mediterranean:
     important social and demographic variations (population ageing, growth in female active
        population, further reduction of working hours);
     scarce improvement of the financial and economic situation;
     political and legislative changes, accompanied by a slower process of public opinion orientation
        towards environmental protection of coastal areas;
     technological progress in transportation and data proceeding and transmission
     growth in commerce and trade exchanges
     increase in transport infrastructure 1;
     traveller safety (health, criminality, terrorism).

However, the remarks of Blue Plan experts state in advance that no growth of Mediterranean tourism will
occur comparable to the one that we had in the past. Such remarks are due to the observation of an
increasing competitiveness from other markets, especially the ones in South-East Asia. Taking into account
the complexity of the phenomenon to be described, some potential scenarios have been proposed.

Scenario         Description
Tendential   Characterized by luxury international tourism and by national tourism stagnation, leading to
aggravated   the creation of other elite tourism poles. Such phenomenon may bring illegal immigration,
T2           total deregulation and widespread forms of protectionism, crime and terrorism
             development, social injustice. Nature will be protected only in a few privileged oasis, but
             environmental quality will deteriorate, due to the scarce resources available for local
Tendential   Long term growth, of the neoliberal kind. Economic growth in Mediterranean countries.
moderate T3 More resources for environmental protection. Tendency to tourism product standardization
             and increase in the number of short trips and hiking. Technological innovation will lead to
             improved management of natural resources. Economic development will be more balanced
             between northern and southern countries of the Mediterranean. Scenario with serious
             impacts on the environment, due to considerable tourism pressure on the coasts and to
             quality search towards inland areas.
Alternative  Based on environmental protection, voluntary solidarity between northern and southern
cooperative: countries of the Mediterranean. The result is the creation of integrated and low impact
sustainable  tourism complexes. The EC will support a Mediterranean policy, pursuing balanced
development economic development and environmental protection in collaboration with Arabic countries.
scenario A1  The lines for this development are: inland rural tourism, complementary to agricultural
             development; cultural development of local people; balanced management of water
             resources through the financial contribution of tourism; tourism as a tool for training and
             social integration and promotion.
Alternative, Such scenario suggests a strategy for the so called self-centering. The tendency will be
for regional regional grouping: internalisation of environmental and land-use policies, greater exchange
grouping A2 of tourism flows between the north and the south of the Mediterranean.

On the base of PLAN BLEU experts’ valuations, the environmental impacts for each scenario have been
considered. Tendential scenarios, because of the lower number of tourists they produce in coastal areas,
may cause less impacts than alternative scenarios (in terms of resource consumption). On the other hand,
tendential scenarios based on national, regional and private individualism, emphasize natural and
ecological risks and social instability.

    This analysis hadn’t forseen the outbreak of the low-cost airlines phenomenon


The Priority Actions Programme (PAP) of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) as a part of United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) has been working for 17 years on the "Development of Mediterranean
Tourism Harmonized with the Environment", with the active participation of 14 Mediterranean countries.
The launching of this activity in 1985 is connected to the experience of MAP. Their work indicates that
socio-economic trends, linked both to poor management and to poor planning of development, are the
cause of most environmental problems, and also that environmental protection is inseparably linked to
social and economic development. The official work activity is based upon four major goals:

       The   integrated planning of development and management of the Mediterranean Basin,
       The   monitoring of pollution and the related research Programme for the Mediterranean Basin,
       The   development of relevant remedial and preventative legislation, and
       The   institutional and financial framework.

The work activity called “Development of Mediterranean Tourism Harmonized with the Environment”
consisted in a series of seminars and expert meetings organized on the basis of national reports and case
studies from participating countries (1986-1989), resulting in a synthesis of these studies, as well as in the
realization of “Guidelines for an Environmental Approach to the Planning and Management of Tourism in
Mediterranean Coastal zones”.

4.3.1 Developing the methodology of Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment
The methodology for tourism carrying capacity assessment (TCCA) has been defined after several reports,
and after the experiences gained through the work on the whole project “Development of Mediterranean
Tourism Harmonized with the Environment” implemented by PAP/RAC. In 1995 a team of experts prepared
the “Guidelines for Carrying Capacity Assessment for Tourism in Mediterranean Coastal Areas” that were
finally adopted at the regional Workshop in Split in January 1997. PAP/RAC organized special training
courses for local planners and government officials in the preparation of Tourism Carrying Capacity
Assessments, based upon the “Guidelines for Carrying Capacity Assessment for Tourism in Mediterranean
Coastal Areas”. These courses have been carried out in Tartous (Syria), Tripoli (Libya), Alger (Algeria),
Beirut (Lebanon). Based on the definition of sustainable development as development which is within the
carrying capacity of the ecosystem, and given the organization’s experiences in different areas, PAP
promotes a flexible approach to TCCA. The sustainable tourism option is the logical outcome of the TCCA
process. Since this approach has been accepted by all the participating countries as the most suitable one
for the Mediterranean region, the PAP methodology was recently implemented in two new studies
prepared by national teams with PAP supervision – for the Malta archipelago, and for the Province of
Rimini in Italy. All the experiences carried out by PAP/RAC expert have been collected and assessed in the
“Guide to Good Practice in Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment” prepared by PAP/RAC experts in 2003.

4.3.2 Elaboration of a tourist eco-charge
Within the framework of the SAP MED (Strategic Action Programme to address pollution from land base
sources and activities for the Mediterranean Sea), the UNEP-MAP's Regional Activities Centre of the Priority
Actions Programme (PAP/RAC) is in charge for the project component “Development and Implementation
of Economic Instruments for the Sustainability of SAP MED”. Seven pilot projects were defined so that,
currently, several Mediterranean countries analyse, develop and eventually will implement different
economic instruments to solve pressing marine pollution problems. The pilot project "Combating Land-
based Pollution in the Coastal Sea of the Town of Hvar" is one of the seven pilot projects. It consists of
two main parts. First, development and implementation of the tourist eco-charge (tourism being both
development driving force and development threat) and second, identification and development of other
economic instruments that would ensure environmentally friendly development of an entrepreneurial
centre in the Vira Bay.

5           The Agenda 21 for tourism
In 1992 world leaders met at The Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil. This summit marked an important milestone
in the history of the relationship between humankind and the planet earth. The Rio conference achieved a
set of agreements that were to mark a major advance in agreements between governments at an
international level. One of the agreements signed at The Rio Conference was Agenda 21, an agenda to
take us into the 21st Century. Agenda 21 outlines objectives and actions and that can be taken at local,
national and international levels and provides a comprehensive blueprint for nations throughout the world
who are starting to make the transition to sustainability.

The process involves five steps2:

       1.    setting up a Local Agenda 21 Forum and/or working groups;
       2.    Discussion and analysis of the main local issues;
       3.    Identification and goals and ideas for action for the sustainable development of the local area;
       4.    Integration of these goals and ideas into a local Agenda 21
       5.    implementation of the action plan, with the involvement of all relevant players

The following aspects of a Local Agenda 21 must be included in a shared strategy for sustainable tourism:

            ensure that tourism planning and development take into consideration economic, social and
             environmental impact of tourism
            place tourism in the overall context of sustainable development
            provide a framework for the process of participation and involvement of different stakeholders
            raise the profile of the destination giving a “sustainability” certification of the local community and
             helping the destination to attract the attention of visitors.

Coastal tourism destinations in the Mediterranean countries need to re-think their strategy of tourism
development and the Local Agenda 21 can provide a structured framework for this strategy.

6           Synergies between sustainable                                        tourism             strategies   and
            integrated coastal management

6.1 Integration of TCCA with planning and management of coastal zones

In Mediterranean countries tourism development remain within national and local plans for both tourism
and for other types of activity by implementing effective carrying capacity programmes, planning controls
and management. Choices and compromises have to be made between competing users and uses of the
coastal zones if an escalation of conflicts and resource degradation are to be avoided. PAP’s TCCA
methodology since the beginning has been conceived to be part of the planning phase of Integrate Coastal
Area Management methodology. Furthermore TCCA should be part of the tourism development plan. In
many cases the TCCA methodology plays a significant role in the planning of the area. TCCA has been
defined as a flexible and dynamic tool open to modification suggested by last TCCA applications. TCCA
must be promoted not only like one of the several tourism planning and management tools but like a
dynamic process able to analyse and to program the sustainable development of tourism in all
Mediterranean destination and in the rest of the world.

6.2 Improving the sustainability of tourism investments in coastal areas

6.2.1 Risks of uncontrolled investments
The investment in coastal area management and tourism is extremely high, both in terms of public
expenditure and private investment. To protect this investment, additional investment in prevention of

    UNEP and ICLEI (2003),Tourism and Local Agenda 21:The role of local authorities in sustainable tourism

environmental degradation and remediation is also necessary. In fact, tourism development is strongly
dependent on the quality of the environment: tourism facilities alone are not sufficient to make a
destination attractive, although they might work at the beginning in creating a pleasant self-contained
resort that satisfies tourists. When clients come into contact with a destination, however, they want to
experience the whole site and its characteristics. As a consequence, external factors prove to be as
important as good quality resorts and services. If deterioration of the environmental capital is allowed, the
tourism industry is likely to become unsustainable as tourists will seek other destinations, earnings and
employment will fall, infrastructure will deteriorate, competition and social conflicts will increase.

Since healthy environment is fundamental for good business, the sustainable development of a destination
is the most convenient way of tackling the problem. As a matter of fact, the current model of sustainable
development involves balancing ecological, economic and social perspectives in relation to existing
resources and their future use. Therefore, policy makers and investors, as well as accommodation and
service providers, need to address the issue of a destination management not only on a business but also
on a sustainable basis. Nowadays, there is a strong need for practical tools to develop monitoring and
information systems for decisions makers. It is an extremely valuable step towards the development of a
strong local economy, as it provides investors with both a common vision and a strategic planning process
for a given area.

6.2.2 Guidelines for sustainable tourism investments in ecologically vulnerable areas
WWF International Mediterranean Programme Office is implementing a set of guidelines for sustainable
investments in the tourism sector referred to the Mediterranean ecologically vulnerable coastal areas. The
project will provide investors with detailed information and tools to assess the economic and
environmental risks of unsustainable investments in ecologically vulnerable areas. The scope of the project
is the Mediterranean basin, an area of exceptionally high cultural and ecological value but also one of the
most endangered regions of the world. In the first phase of the project, data and information have been
collected about the state-of-the-art of environmental legislation, the quality of coastal environments, and
the impacts of tourism development in the Mediterranean basin, focusing on four pilot countries: Croatia,
Turkey, Morocco, and Tunisia. WWF is also developing an easy-to-use assessment tool to avoid
unsustainable investments in vulnerable areas. The tool is developed according to the following steps:

       definition of   the investment profile (in terms of its environmental, economical and social impacts)
       definition of   a “Risk Map” to assess investment compatibility
       definition of   the Tourism Carrying Capacity of the area
       assessment      between the investment profile and the characteristics of the area that has been

At the final stage, a digital Risk Map of tourism pressure based on ecological value and vulnerability will be
produced (together with the processing of satellitary images to allow the detection of changes in the use
of land) as an important tool for interested stakeholders.

6.3 Integrated management plan of the municipality of Calvia’ and the
    Province of Rimini

6.3.1 The general framework of Calvia and Rimini
The Municipality of Calvia and the Region of Rimini have been the two principal partners of the project
“Life Med-Coasts: Tools and Strategies for sustainable tourism is the in the Coastal Areas of the
Mediterranean”, which includes the Plan for the Integrated Management of coastal areas. The opportunity
offered by the European plan has proven to be a useful exercise in allowing the comparison between two
different examples with similar problems. Both Calvia and Rimini are at present amongst the most popular
destinations of mass tourism in the Mediterranean; they are visited by thousands of tourists, the peak time
being the summer months, and the coastline has undergone major urban transformation and suffered
severe environmental damage.

6.3.2 Plan of Integrated Management of the Riviera of Rimini
The LIFE project3 defined by the experts of the research institute Ambiente Italia for the Province of Rimini
began with the study of “Stress Tolerance” Carrying Capacity of the Tourist industry (the “TCCA”,
undertaken in 2001 under the supervision of PAP/RAC), as defined by the UNEP methodology. It was
during the evaluation of this study that the subject areas, and a set of indicators best describing the
present state, were first established. These indicators focused on stress areas, resources and critical
factors of the Region, especially those concerning tourist activities. In the following phase, the stress
tolerance of the system was studied in light of potential scenarios for the development of tourism . Two of
the models developed for the TCCA - one for the development of the hinterland; the other, for the re-
qualification of tourism on the coast - were selected as the most appropriate solutions for future
development. The resulting model, Riviera of Rimini 2010 has become part of the hypotheses for the
development of the ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management), thus becoming a “fixed” component of
future models.4

The project model, in accordance with the same methodology used in Calvià, was implemented,
projecting the evolution of the situation to 2010, based on the hypothesis of either “business as usual”
or “best results”. The “business as usual” model was developed on the premise that past practices
remain essentially constant up to 2010. Conversely, the “best results” model relied on the introduction of
corrective measures which would re-direct drastically the trends of the indicators as collected over these
last few years. the Best Results Model is to be viewed as an “ultimate goal” to be reached, extremely
ambitious albeit technically possible. Amongst the proposals contained in the Plan, there were selected
projects that had the potential to become “pilot actions”.

7      What could be the value added of the ICZM protocol for
       sustainable tourism
According to the Charter of Rimini on Sustainable Tourism (2001), the urgency of a concerted action to
efficiently exploit the growth of tourist demand and offer, should be stressed. As a matter of fact, up to
now such growth has produced important environmental and social effects and today risks compromising
the quality and vitality of the tourist offer. In order to ensure sustainability of the tourism industry and the
coastal resources used by other sectors of Mediterranean economies, increased focus must be placed on
improving the decision-making process, the integrated planning and management of coastal resources and
the tourism industry, and changing the orientation of professionals and industry actors to embrace more
socially and environmentally sound approaches to development.

According to the hypothesis formulated by Blue Plan experts (see section 4.2.1), if the ICZM protocol is not
taken into account, this would lead to the tendential scenario T2 (aggravated) or T3 (moderate). Such
scenarios do not have as a priority, for the planning phase and for national policies, the environmental
protection of coastal areas. Many recent examples showed that intra-Mediterranean cooperation and
experience exchange is the only way to the sustainable development of Mediterranean countries, through
the sharing of common objectives. Mediterranean countries should assume the responsibility of revising
their development models and strategies and, at the same time, innovate their tourist product, confirming
their cultural identity and diversity and give value to their products, human resources and local economies
when managing social, economic and environmental sustainability of tourism and the environmental
quality of their territory. These objectives should be clearly defined in the ICZM protocol.

Finally, the 11th meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention adopted the
recommendations on sustainable tourism that were proposed by the MSCD. In these recommendations

  The LIFE project involved the following partners: Province of Rimini, Municipality of Calvia, Ambiente Italia Research Institute and
   For further information please consult the section on Project Life, on the Province of Rimini Tourism website:
( turismo/index sostenibile.htm). The complete study on stress tolerance and other
models on the development of a sustainable tourism is available on CD, “L’analisi di Carrying Capacity e le sue relazioni con il Piano
Integrato di Gestione Costiera”, June 2002.

there are a number of issues that could be taken in consideration when the Mediterranean protocol on
integrated coastal management will be drafted. The recommendations could be summarised as follows:

   1. Improve the quality of the environmental impacts from tourism activities: eliminate the pollution of
       waste production and reduce the pollution of groundwater and sea water;
   2. ICZM is a good instruments for territorial planning and management under the sustainable
       development perspective and especially for sustainable tourism development;
   3. ICZM should provide opportunities to make plans to prevent risks and establish alternatives also
       for defining tourism scenarios; the Tourism Carrying Capacity methodology should be considered
       from the very beginning;
   4. The importance of citizen participation, specially involving the people and organizations who work
       on the coast should be stressed. Participation represents the key factor for sustainable tourism
   5. experience exchange between tourism destinations in the Mediterranean; study of a system for
       regional cooperation;
   6. supporting the protection and increasing the value of inland areas;
   7. There is a need in ICZM process to promote and give consideration to the environmental
       education on coastal areas, widening the knowledge to ecotourism related topics, for tourists and
       tourism operators in the Mediterranean area;
   8. When an ICZM is put into effect, it is advisable to implant a parallel pilot experience and initiative
       that must include sustainable tourism projects;
   9. Introducing the criteria of the environmental management systems (EMAS, ISO 14001 and
       ecolabelling): evaluation, review, operational control, observatory, to ICZM;
   10. ICZM should include mechanism allowing a financial contribution of tourism to the protection and
       the conservation of the environment (E.g. tourism eco-taxes).


Ajuntament de Calvia Mallorca, (2002), Plan de Gestion Integral del Litoral de Calvia-PILC, Calvià
CONTE G., CIPRIANI E., DODARO G., LEONELLI M., MIRULLA R., SATTA A., (2002), Valutazione della
    Capacità di Carico Turistica della Provincia di Rimini, Provincia di Rimini
Eurostat, (2001), Tourism Trends in Mediterranean Countries , Office for Official Publications of the
    European Communities, Luxembourg
LANQUAR, R. (1994), Tourisme et environnement en méditerranée , Plan Bleu, Sophia Antipolis
UNEP/MAP, (1999), Tourisme et Développement Durable – Recommandations et propositions par la
   Commission méditerranéenne du développement durable (CMDD) et adoptes par la Onzième réunion
   ordinaire des Parties contractantes à la convention de Barcelone, UNEP/MAP, Athens
UNEP/MAP/PAP, (1995), Guidelines for integrated Management of Coastal and Marine Areas- with special
   reference to the Mediterranean basin, UNEP regional Seas reports and studies No. 161, Split
UNEP/MAP/PAP, (1997): “Guidelines for carrying capacity assessment for tourism in Mediterranean coastal
   areas”, Priority Action Programme, Regional Activity Center, Split;
UNEP/MAP/PAP, (2003): Sustainability of sap med pilot project: "combating the land-based pollution in the
   coastal sea of the town of Hvar", Report on procedure of and measures for development and
   implementation of the tourist eco-charge, Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre, Split;
SATTA A, PALMISANI F. for UNEP/MAP/PAP (2003) : “Évaluation de la Capacité d'Accueil pour le
   développement du tourisme dans les régions côtières méditerranéennes ». Split: PAP/RAC.
UNEP/MAP/PAP, (2003): “Guide to Good Practice in Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment”, Split:
UNEP/ICLEI, (2003): “Tourism and Local Agenda 21 – The Role of Local Authorities in Sustainable Tourism
   ”, Paris;
World Tourism Organisation, (2001): “Tourism Market Trends 2001 Edition – Europe”, WTO: Madrid.


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