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Fostering local development in the Mediterranean via tourism and cultural heritage

Tourism and cultural heritage are two strong vectors of local development, which was explained at length during a session of the European Week of Cities and Regions 2018.

Indeed, the Mediterranean basin is the 1st touristic destination in the world, with an increase of 8% in international arrivals in 2017 (EC, 2018), and the tourism sector represents 10% of the world’s overall GDP. Tourism is moreover an important source of employment accounting for 12% of all jobs created annually, mainly benefiting local SMEs (SMEs represent 90% of tourism operators), restaurant owners, tourist guides, etc. According to data presented by the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly, the cultural component is a key factor when choosing a holiday destination. Cultural heritage is therefore a vector of growth for the tourism industry because of the added value to landscapes and story of the destination.

The European Commission, a Greek regional authority and a social entrepreneur participated in this session to share their experiences and the solutions they try to implement each at their own scale.

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24 October 2018

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