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.
Click on this link for more information24 October 2018