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Sustainable Tourism In Fragile Territories (SHIFT)
Start date: Mar 31, 2009, End date: Sep 29, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The final aim of SHIFT is to propose an IQM (Integrated Quality Management) model to experiment strategies fostering sustainable development in fragile Mediterranean coastal and island areas. The sustainability of tourism is an ethical requirement and factor of competitiveness in the Mediterranean to preserve its vulnerable economic, natural, cultural and social heritage. Not only do environmental abuses impoverish the island and coastal heritage, but as todays tourists are increasingly demanding, the quality, diversity and specific environmental and cultural attributes of tourism supply constitute a key factor of its competitiveness. The strategy will support new local employment and economic growth redistributing existing tourism pressure over an extended season and toward different market segments drawn from local cultural and natural diversity. Opting for a sustainable approach entails institutional leadership, co-ordination with the private sector, social involvement and skilled technical backing: All stakeholders have a shared responsibility to make tourism sustainable: they will work together for a total quality approach, embracing ethical, strategic and commercial criteria, that will hold the key to the competitive quality of destinations,. A new type of integrated planning and management based on broad institutional, economic and social agreement will be a prerequisite for the preparation of guidelines for sustainable development. Achievements: State of the art of project implementation since the project startThe Mediterranean, characterized by its exceptional climate, offers not only sun and sea but culture, natural heritage and an incredible gastronomy. One of the main tourist destinations worldwide, this basin has suffered decades of continued tourist pressure, coastal over-development, and intensive, seasonal tourism marked by a lack of integrated planning. These factors impact negatively the Mediterranean economy, culture and environment. That is why regions from Spain, Italy, Greece and France are working together, through SHIFT, to provide an Integrated Quality Management model to experiment strategies fostering sustainable development in fragile Mediterranean coastal and island areas and pilot new marketing approaches for sustainable tourism. The SHIFT strategy supports new local employment and economic growth, redistributing existing tourism pressure over an extended season and attracting different market segments drawn to its unique local, cultural and natural identity.Latest project activities and outputsThe SHIFT project has successfully completed its objectives in this period. During this period, the following milestone activities took place: - Pilot tours to thematic routes in Valencia and the Costa del Sol - Experimentation of thematic routes in Marseilles and Alicante - Integrated Quality Management Workshops for stakeholders in Thassos, Samothrace, Malaga, Valencia and Alicante - Completion and defintion of sustainable marketing strategies in the fragile coastal and island areas that are project partners. - Completion of SWOT Analysis and Stakeholder Toolkits The project has been particularly successful in mobilising stakeholkders to participate in the thematic routes and improve the quality of their tourism offer. A Final Capitalisation Event in Munich was held to inform the press, opinion-makers and tour operators about the results of the SHIFT project. Final Dissemination Event in Marseilles to ilustrate the project results and the capitalisation activities.
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