Rethinking tourism in the Mediterranean

Hello everybody, I am Vittoria, recently graduated with a Master's degree in Euro-Mediterranean affairs and cross-cultural cooperation (MIM) at the University of Ca’ Foscari (Venice). During the two years of study I had the chance to gain knowledge and explore the Mediterranean basin by studying between France, Tunisia and Italy.

I have been carrying out this experience with IVY since January, and I can say that it has been a unique opportunity to experience first-hand the territorial cooperation and cohesion policies implemented by the European Union. I have been carrying out this experience with Unimed, The Mediterranean universities Union, which is a partner in the Interreg Med programme, namely Sustainable Tourism and Urban Transports Communities. Unimed acts in different scientific fields and its aim is to develop research and education in the Euro-Mediterranean area in order to contribute to scientific, cultural, social and economic cooperation.

This opportunity allows me to broaden my professional abilities, more specifically in the field of the green and sustainable transformation of the touristic and urban sector, in collaboration with authentic actors of regional cooperation in the Mediterranean.

Specifically, I am in charge of the dissemination and capitalisation of all projects in the two thematic communities. The MED Sustainable Tourism Community is the biggest of the Thematic communities co-funded by the Interreg Med Programme. From 2016 to now the Interreg MED Programme has co-funded 22 modular projects on Sustainable Tourism and two strategic projects, BEST MED and SMARTMED.

My final aim is to strengthen trans-regional cooperation and the representation of Mediterranean coastal areas inside the Community and facilitate the transferring process of the projects' results to the entire Med areas. Moreover, I have the opportunity to focus in a sector that I believe to be fundamental today: innovation and green growth. In particular, tourism, which has been heavily affected by COVID-19, is in need of a renewed vision and a sustainable approach. For this reason, we are organising various types of workshops, and we are planning a comprehensive summer school for the future leaders of tomorrow, which will address sustainability and governance from various angles.

Thanks to IVY , I am dealing with different institutional actors and stakeholders, and I have the opportunity to get in contact with territories and their specific needs.

For all these reasons, I think it is a unique opportunity that is really enriching my skills and is enabling me to understand the importance of cooperation on several levels.

Vittoria Riccardi, Interreg Project Partner at Sustainable Tourism + Urban Transports

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