Guidelines for sustainable tourism investments in vulnerable ecological areas of the Mediterranean coastsThe tools proposed by the Guidelines provide investors with the information they need to identify the most environmentally vulnerable areas, where conventional tourism investment could have a negative impact. At the same time, they are meant for the assessment of the investment sustainability and as a guidance for the planning and implementation stages.
Indeed, these tools are also available for policy makers to strengthen national environmental policies and to implement strategies for sustainable development.
The present Guidelines were conceived after a study phase carried out by the WWF to analyse the most important forests and marine areas along Mediterranean coasts, in terms of their biodiversity and status of protection: the identification of particularly vulnerable stretches along the basin raised the question of their correct management and the need for a sustainable development of tourism at those sites.
The Guidelines will focus on the role played by investors in the implementation of sustainable tourism activities in such vulnerable areas, and their consequent viability. In fact, as the driving force of the tourism industry, investors should be the first ones to advocate a reform towards more sustainable practices within this sector, from the choice of the location to the building and management of the tourism facility.
The recommendations and the assessment tool that are illustrated in the following chapters are meant as a contribution towards the desired sustainability of the tourism industry. It is hoped that the Guidelines will provide a basis for approaches and behaviour that will promote tourism investments equally respectful of the environment, the culture and the economy.