05-07-2011. Source: ENPI info centre

Hosting more than one third of international tourism and focusing more than a quarter of the world capacity of accommodation, tourism in Mediterranean countries represents a vital economic resource in the region. However, these countries also share concerns when it comes to environmental issues, with a growing demand for environmentally friendly tourism services amid increasing concern over water resources, energy needs and waste production.

Responding to this demand, the EU-funded BestMed initiative has released a study analyzing both the market in products, services and clean sustainable technologies (water purification technologies, energy efficiency and water saving devices,) and the potential development of demand.

BestMed – Business Eco-Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean area, supported by Invest in Med – was primarily launched to support the environmental sustainability of tourism by promoting the dissemination of eco-sustainable products, technologies and services in the tourist hotel sector of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

The study, which focuses on the tourist hotel sector in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, says that the adoption of a sustainable tourism strategy in the Mediterranean Region offers both the opportunity to invest in a high added value sector, and the opportunity to support other sectors and new technologies contributing to environmental sustainability.

Invest in Med is a Euro-Mediterranean Network of organizations, funded by the EU with a budget of €9 million, committed to investment promotion and trade facilitation, strengthening SME collaboration and exchange of best-practices.  It aims to increase the abilities and efficiency of Mediterranean Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), thus enabling more foreign direct investment in the Mediterranean Partner Countries. This multi-country platform supports the economic development of the Mediterranean and reinforces cooperation between European and Mediterranean IPAs.