Time flies when you’re having fun! And working on projects aimed at making tourism more sustainable is not only fundamental, but also very motivating.

I have joined the Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions in early September, to assist the implementation of the BEST MED and SMARTMED projects. Both projects aim to enhance governance in the tourism sector, with a specific focus on data management and on capacity-building in public administration, respectively. They involve a rich number of partners from all around the Mediterranean basin, each taking care of one step of the project while also assisting others with the remaining parts.

For instance, BEST MED partners tested a model for sustainable governance of cultural routes on the territories, organizing farm trips and living labs among other activities. The model is now being finalized and can be adopted in the future by any territory willing to improve its touristic offer. In the meanwhile, I am charged with updating the BEST MED Info Hub, an online depository of news, knowledge, and events around sustainable tourism. This will be useful to the Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories currently being built to facilitate cooperation, sharing of best practices and capacity-building among stakeholders in the field.

In addition, I am in charge of communicating SMARTMED’s accomplishment through its Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as its webpage. I also report on the events and trainings we take part in for promoting the project, networking with similar realities or simply gain new skills to improve its development.

Overall, the IVY experience allows me to dive into EU project management, a skill that I have been wanting to develop for a long time. In addition, I am learning more and more about cohesion policy and about the sustainability of touristic activities. Finally, the diversity of partners involved in the projects is an extremely enriching factor: it constantly provides creative inputs, challenges us to coordinate proactively for a positive outcome, and – last but not least – it allows us to get in touch with and travel to beautiful Mediterranean destinations 😉

Beniamino Brunati, Interreg Project Partner for BEST MED and SMARTMED projects at the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions

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