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Sustainable Coastal-Tourism as the shared mantra between Monaco and Saudi Arabia.

Sustainable Tourism is one of the global objectives to be achieved involving environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects. Not by chance, the United Nations Environment Program and the World Tourism Organization proposed a definition as follows: "tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities". A recent strategic meeting involving the Principality of Monaco achieved a major breakthrough in this regard. On the 2nd August 2023 the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Monco Yacht Club signed two Memorandum of Understandings with H.E. Mohammed Al-Asiri, CEO of Saudi Red Sea Authority, in the presence of H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Board of Directors at Saudi Red Sea Authority (SRSA). The main focus was to implement coastal tourism in the Red Sea, top destination worldwide.

Photo >> Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Bernard D'Alessandri, General Secretary and Managing Director at Yacht Club de Monaco welcoming the official Delegation from Saudi Arabia © Ludovic Arneodo / FPA2

In particular, the Saudi Red Sea Authority commits to command maritime traffic for leisure purposes, notably cruises and yachting, along the Red Sea as well as encouraging eco-responsible recreational activities with the support of an increasing number of international authorities. The body, in fact, is in charge of encouraging local economy throughout coastline resorts in the full respect of natural ecosystem.

  • The first Memorandum with the Principality of Monaco aims to strengthen collaboration through skilled human resources and future leaders, targeted events, research projects in order to find solutions of mutual interest and increasing knowledge as well as raising awareness.

  • The second Memorandum is centred to fix a series of environmental actions and best practices set in the Red Sea including a set of workshops in navigation, safety, and environmental stewardships as well as marine environment scientific projects and joint actions to promote Red Sea.

Photo >> The signing of two Memorandums between the Principality of Monaco, represented by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Yacht Club de Monaco, and the Saudi Red Sea Authority © Ludovic Arneodo / FPA2

H.E. Mohammed Al-Asiri pointed out : « The two Memorandums of Understanding aim to improve cooperation with global maritime entities in order to achieve our goals in developing the maritime sectors, ensuring the protection of the natural environment, and encouraging coastal tourism in the Kingdom, including developing it economically ».

The official visit to Monaco was also an opportunity to reaffirm mutual strategic ties through a series meetings with H.E. Pierre Dartout, Minister of State of the Principality of Monaco, the Monaco's Department of Maritime Affairs.

Photo >> Travel polaroids © Wix

The toolbox of Sustainable Tourism

Environmentally friendly tourism takes into account three main dimensions addressed to a long-lasting sustainability performance. First of all, a fair use of environmental resources able to keep balance between natural heritage and biodiversity is essential. Respecting socio-cultural legacy of local communities is also crucial and it should be achieved by mutual unerstanding and tolerance programmes. Last but not least, a set of socio-economic benefits to be fairly distributed among stakeholders contributing to improve living conditions and combat poverty.

This can be achieved by a continuous process to be constantly measured and monitored as well as shared with the involved communities whose eco-responsibility is meant to increase through a proactive peer-review and bottom-up approach. Sustainable Tourism is therefore strongly linked to other pivotal issues like biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation, plastic fighting and energy transition. It also includes the concept of Ecotourism focused on leisure attractions in natural areas and Responsible Travel referring to behavioural and lifestyle aspects of travellers that should always tend to a positive outcome in terms of sustainability.

The World Tourism Organization is publishing periodic reports providing guidelines, programmes and policies to reinforce education, knowledge and capacity building besides improving global network and competitiveness. ***


By Maurice Abbati

Springer International Publishing

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