PAP_EUSAIRWith its 15.4 million tourist arrivals in 2014, maritime and coastal tourism is one of the most promising economic activities in all countries bordering the Adriatic Ionian Seas. However, this macro-region faces several socio-economic and environmental challenges preventing growth and economic recovery.

In this context, policy decision-makers from member Regions of the CPMR, representatives of the European Commission and of the tourism industry gathered on 11th June 2015 in Heraklion (GR) to attend the conference “Sustainable Tourism as a Pillar of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)”.

The event hosted by Stavros Arnaoutakis, Regional Governor of Crete, paved the way towards a strong joint strategy in favour of the development of more sustainable and competitive Adriatic and Ionian tourist destinations.

In particular, participants called on the Adriatic Ionian Member States, Regions and local governments, as well as the European Commission to work together to set up a multilevel and multi-actor governance and fully exploit the European financial opportunities of the 2014-2020 programming period.

Andrea Mairate, Head of Unit, in charge of Macro-regions and European Territorial Cooperation and Joanna Mouliou Niessler, Programme Manager at DG REGIO together with Cinzia De Marzo, Policy Officer, at DG GROW represented the European Commission at the event while Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, as well as Ivan Jakovcic, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on the EUSAIR, delivered their addresses through a video.