Last 7th of June 2022, the InCircle project held in Barcelona its final event: “Tools, finance, opportunities and bottlenecks towards a circular and sustainable tourism”, which gathered over 70 people from different organizations that work for more circular and sustainable tourism. The morning session of the event focused on InCircle results and the current status of the touristic sector, while the afternoon session was dedicated to promoting future sustainable and circular tourism practices.

MedCities Secretary General, Josep Canals, welcomes the final event audience

During the morning session, the cities of Zgharta-Edhen, Madaba, and Barcelona (all of which are MedCities members) provided an overview of the current status of the tourist sector in their territories, and the opportunities and bottlenecks they have when implementing circular tourism projects and practices.

Following the experience of these Mediterranean territories, InCircle project partners provided a summary of the tools that the project has developed during its 4 years lifespan. These tools were designed to help territories assess their current status in terms of circularity, facilitate the development of a participatory process among the actors of the tourist sector, and develop a circular tourism strategy. In order to provide a better idea and understanding of the implications of implementing each tool, some of the InCircle partners and replicating territories explained the work done during the implementation, the results they obtained and how have these been useful for them. The morning session concluded with an explanation of the policy brief that the project has developed.

The afternoon session started with an explanation of which are the current and future funding opportunities available for territories aiming at working towards the implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives. Afterward, during the proCYCLE laboratory, participants worked in 8 working groups in a highly interactive (and competitive!) session in which they developed 8 different circular tourism project ideas, all of which were based on one of the four InCircle pillars and one of the projects policy recommendation.

During the whole event, some ideas arose among different speakers and moments of the day, which leads us to draw some conclusions. Speakers and assistants agreed on the fact that circular tourism is an opportunity to drive a change in the Mediterranean, and that sustainability is no longer an option or a brand attribute, but rather an absolute commitment. They agreed as well on the role small actions and projects can play to bring ideas forward and on the need to help tourism stakeholders recognize the benefits to follow holistic sustainable strategies. The fact that tourism seasonality can be turned into an asset to work towards circularity, rather than a barrier was also highlighted.

While the InCircle Project ends here, we invite you to have a look at the project’s knowledge platform and the tools developed so that you can also be part of the cycle!

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