CONSUME-LESS in Mediterranean Touristic Communities

CONSUME-LESS in Mediterranean Touristic Communities


Status: complete

Categorization: tourism

Country: Italy

Period: 01.11.2016 / 31.10.2019

Contact info

Name: Barbara Sarnari

Organization: Svi.Med.onlus – EuroMediterranean Centre




Summary description: Consume Less in the Mediterranean Touristic Communities, (in short - Consume-Less) aims to significantly reduce energy, water and waste generated by tourist influx specifically in coastal and tourist areas. The Consume-Less project will whilst tackling the negative externalities, ensure preservation of the surrounding environment and ecosystem services which attracts tourism. Throughout the project, a tourism model was defined and already implemented in 6 cities, by means of: 1. Integrated approach, including multiple types of energy and water saving actions and waste prevention and management measures 2. Offer of “consume-less” services through the active involvement of tourism service providers 3. Awareness raising and behavioural change campaigns based on the use of innovative solutions including a mix of Storytelling and SoLoMo (Social- Location-Mobile) solutions The implementation strategy is characterized in particular by the introduction of brand “ConsumelessMed”, which shall be assigned to private and/or public entities participating in the initiative, and achieving sustainable management actions towards the reduction of energy, water and waste generation. The model is based on a real involvement of public entities too, setting up as first step a local management committee and developing some “demonstrative measures”: ▪ Actions/installations aimed at reducing waste or saving water or energy, located in places with a high visibility.

Type: project

EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (i) preserving and giving value to natural and cultural heritage and diversity, (ii) minimising resource use and production of waste, (iii) enhancing local community prosperity and quality of life, (iv) reducing the seasonality of demand, (viii) mitigating and adapting to climate change

EU Principles: (i) taking a holistic and integrated approach (economic, social and environmental aspects), (ii) planning for the long term, (iii) involving stakeholders, (v) promoting awareness and commitment

Reason of interest for COASTING: The Consume-Less project is closely linked to all other relevant sectorial strategies and policies for sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean region, especially to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and ultimately Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) by enhancing the capacity and empowering public authorities and tourist destination stakeholders, towards integrated and eco-systemic approaches.

Financial information

Budget: 2,635,000.00 €

Financial sources: The Consume-Less Project is funded under the INTERREG MED Programme 2014-2020 which is a Transnational European Cooperation Programme for the Mediterranean area, which encourages cooperation between med regions in 10 EU Member States as well as potential candidates. The objective of the Programme is to promote sustainable growth in the MED by fostering innovative concepts and practices as well as a reasonable use of resources and by supporting social integration through an integrated and territorially based cooperation approach. The programme focuses on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Background information

Territorial context: Most of the coastal cities in the MED area are interested by high touristic flows. The socio-economic impact of these visitorsis extraordinary and tourism, with the economic and employment opportunities it creates, has become a key factor in overall socio-economic development strategies in touristic areas. At the same time, tourism brings a range of negative externalities and tourist cities have to face additional challenges related towater and energy savings, waste prevention and management due to their geographical and climatic conditions, the seasonalityof tourism flow and the specificity of tourism industry. These challenges threaten the preservation and conservation of those ecosystem services - sea, beaches, natural resources and products - offered by tourism destinations, that ensures not only the environmental survival of tourist cities but also their attractiveness. The minimization of resource use (energy, water) and waste production, according to a “consume-less” model.

Relation to policies and strategies: The Consume-Less project contributes to wider strategies and policies as: - Europe 2020 Strategy: more sustainable Europe, towards a low-carbon economy, that includes the 20% of reduction of GHGemissions andincreasing 20% in energy efficiency. The EU is aiming to progressively decrease primary energy consumptionby 2020 and 2030. Energy efficiency in buildings (EEB) is a key topic to EU policy. - Horizon 2020: Secure, clean and efficient energy; Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials - Covenant of Mayors initiative (voluntary commit to increasing energy efficiency and use of removable energy sources on their territories) the aims at reducing the CO2 emissions by 2020 - Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020: towards an Inclusive, Smart and Sustainable Europe of diverse Regions(2011) - Macro-regional EUSAIR ed EUSALP (point C.3.1.b) - Circular Economy Roadmap

Regulation framework: The main objective of the Administration's action foreseen, among other things, by the new European planning, PRINT (Regional plan of internationalization) a policy of integration of the regional tourism offer, which also involves areas different from those of the "Unesco area", the National Strategical Plan for Tourism; PO FESR Sicilia – Strategia innovazione e ricerca (RIS3); and the Regional plan of tourist propaganda 2017.

Specific information

Objectives: The overall objectives of the Consume-Less model are: • To contribute to sustainable water, energy and waste management with particular focus on the reduction in the consumption of water and energy as well as waste reduction through prevention of waste generation in the tourism sector in Mediterranean cities. • To promote sustainable tourism models, based on the enhancement of local historical heritage, natural resources and products. • To promote responsible behaviour of tourists.

Developers (and governance): The main players for the concrete implementation of the model are: • Local public authorities such as local municipalities • National public authorities • Regional public authorities • Trade associations • SMEs and entrepreneurs of the tourist sector The local entities and the associations are normally the members of the local committee. The final beneficiaries (with an important role for reaching the final goal) are the entrepreneurs of the tourism sector.

Beneficiaries: - Municipality staff and decision makers - Trade and Tourism business associations - Public or private companies responsible for waste, water and energy management - Public or private companies/organizations responsible for managing most relevant tourism attractions in the pilot areas (i.e. museums, natural parks etc.) - Environmental Protection Agencies - Environmental NGOs - Tourism agencies and tour-operators - Tourism service providers

Innovation aspects: The model can be defined “territorial” and “inclusive”, involving from the biggest to the smallest facility of a touristic community. The Consume-Less model is based on the qualification of the coastal territories as ConsumelessMed locations and on the enhancement of this peculiarity through an innovative communication and territorial marketing campaign, both implemented by directly involving all interested actors. The Awareness raising and behavioural change campaigns based on the use of multiple behaviour change approaches and innovative solutions including a mix of storytelling and SoLoMo (Social-Location-Mobile solutions).

Actions: 1. The local committee is settled up 2. The label is assigned to the facilities respecting at least the compulsory criteria 3. The demonstrative measures is implemented and promoted 4. The platform promotes the labelled facilities and the stories and news of the consumelessMed destination and the social campaign #consumelesstraveler is animated providing video/message by the travelers 5. Implementation of a common monitoring approach 6. Implementation of an ad-hoc territorial marketing strategy 7. Mainstreaming at regional level

Stakeholders involvement: The involvement of local stakeholders (trade associations and other key actors of the sector) in the development of the Consumeless model is a key element of the implementation approach (they are the local committee, first step of the strategy); the second step will involve the service providers (hotels, restaurants, cafes, beach resorts etc.) for driving the territory toward a more sustainable strategy and hospitality paradigm, thus the tourists and citizens who are the stories to tell for describing the territory and the travel experiences. The model include a strategy for involving each group by means of thematic conferences, workshop, training, be-to-be meeting and atypical events for animating the territory. The social strategies and the influencers can have a strategic role for reaching the goal. An innovative way to involve the local community and the service provider has been the “Workation: Work+vacation” an important experiment for mixing work with local actors.

Results achieved: - 6 destinations ConsumelessMed and 6 local action plans - over 200 voluntary agreements for - the local committee - more than 150 facilities with the label - A platform for promoting the ConsumelessMed destinations, facilities, stories, travellers and so on - Involvement of thousands of citizens and travellers by means of atypical events - ConsumelessMed label guidelines and the Consume-Less Model - workers trained - Realisation of 6 demonstrative measures - Thousands of people reached by the Consume-Less awareness raising campaign

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: The main problem is that the private actors don’t understand immediately the opportunity to invest their time and energy promoting sustainable behaviour managing their business. The sustainable tourism is yet considered a “niche” tourism and not an added value. Furthermore the synergies public-private, but also between privates are complicated because they suppose to have to share their costumers.

Success factors: The main success factor is that there isn’t other label as ConsumelessMed which with an international vision start involving the local actors public and private for redefining their destination as a Sustainable (thus consumeless) destination. This goal is strictly linked to the possibility to match the demand at marketing level with a clear strategy.

Transferability in COASTING project: The collaboration atmosphere created during the project debating with the local public and private stakeholders is an essential point for planning and implementing good practices and model. Data acquired and information collected by these actors are the base for planning also strategies linked to the coasting objectives. The economic operators working on the coastal areas need to be involved in common projects for planning together with the decision makers. The Consumeless model is a good first approach for giving them the possibility to contribute to a sustainable plan without a big effort and benefit of the marketing and communication strategy for became more attractive. Furthermore step by step it’s possible to develop more complicate strategies for reach more ambitious goals. Each Coasting partner who are interested in implementing the Model can benefit of the support of the Consumeless partners.