ASCAME participates in a Mediterranean tourism partnership to launch the “Phoenicians’ Route” tourism program

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Launching of the Phoenician’s Route project, February 2015

Barcelona, ​​27 January 2016 - The Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) participated in the working group led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the implementation of the “Phoenicians’ Route” tourism program. The international project focused on the Phoenicians’ Route was presented by the Minister of Tourism of Lebanon, Mr. Michel Pharaon at the meeting chaired by the Secretary General of UNWTO, D. Taleb Rifai, in the framework of the International Fair Tourism 2016 (FITUR), in Madrid.

The project, which was supported in 2003 by the Council of Europe, involves various countries of the North and South of the Mediterranean and aims to implement a renowned regional tourism that generates significant economic benefits for the countries of the region. That is, stimulating the development and regional integration through the tourism sector. ASCAME, as a regional platform for economic integration of the Mediterranean, participated in the project since its inception in collaboration with countries and international organisations such as Ministries of Tourism of France, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia, and the WTO, UNDP, UNESCO, the IMA, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Council of Europe and the Casa Mediterráneo.

The program, which is part of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and whose hub is established in Lebanon, seeks to raise awareness about the rich Phoenician heritage in the current regional trade in industries such as textiles. At the same time, it aims to create specific programs such as cultural, rural and ecological tourism routes around this route, which includes more than 2.800 kilometres across three continents and 18 Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, Spain, or Tunisia.

This program may reinforce the concept of “Mediterranean Global Brand”, in reference to a common heritage, with a variety of historical, cultural and gastronomic present beside both shores and shared by all peoples of the region. That is, promoting a “benchmark for specificity” that differentiates the Mediterranean from other tourist destinations. The promotion of tourism offers such as the Phoenicians’ Route, based on these common cultural, artistic and gastronomic expressions are a tool to consolidate the “Mediterranean Global Brand”, while promoting the richness and variety of the Mediterranean destinations.

The current socio-economic challenges in the region require a sum of shared commitments and the commitment to common benefits. In other words, implementing an ambitious program to consolidate regional tourism growth, which is a key sector for the economies of the North and South of the Mediterranean. The “Phoenicians’ Route” tourism program will be, in the coming years, a tool that may revitalize regional tourism in an innovative and jointly manner in an environment as changing and competitive, where the private sector will play a key role. 

Please click here for download the statement.

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