“Which proposals for the development of the sustainable tourism of maritime and coastal Tuscany?”: Tuscany Region Focus Group

Tuscany Region Focus Group meeting titled “Which proposals for the development of the sustainable tourism of maritime and coastal Tuscany?”, held on 9th April 2015 in Livorno, had the aim to present the results achieved by the project and to focus, with the contribution of all participants, on possible ideas and proposals to be included in the Action Plan for maritime and coastal tourism that will be produced by MITOMED project partners.

The meeting, organised  in the framework of Open Consultation Phase of the MITOMED project, was attended by relevant regional stakeholders of Maritime and Coastal Tourism sector.
The meeting was structured in two parts. The first session - WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED WITH MITOMED - was dedicated to the discussion of the results of MITOMED GAP and SWOT analyses (to which many participants have contributed through the data collection), also in order to improve the territorial information system and the currently used system of indicators. The second session- IDEAS AND PROPOSALS TO INCREASE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE MARITIME AND COASTAL TOURISM SECTOR IN OUR REGION – was dedicated to discuss and collect a first set of proposals that can be included in the Action Plan and, ideally, be further developed in order to be presented for financing by European and regional funds.
During the first part of the meeting the following results of the analysis of the Project were presented, in order to validate the findings and identify the gaps of knowledge on which it would be useful and important to invest in the future. In detail: • the results of the survey (trough ETIS questionnaires) on maritime and coastal tourism in Tuscany; • The results of the SWOT analysis (threats / opportunities / strengths / weaknesses) at the sea basin level;
• The system of indicators used to evaluate the competitiveness of coastal tourism in partner regions, using the simplified system of “traffic-lights”.
During the discussion, participants expressed their appreciation of the work done and agreed on the need, shared by Tuscany Region, to collect accurate and realistic data and surveys respecting the peculiarity of each area. In this regard it was expressed the difficulty, by those who led the analysis, to find comparable and homogeneous data: sometimes the data are expressed with different units and criteria, so that it is difficult to conduct a comparative and accurate analysis.
Another emerging need is that in many cases the data has to be “weighted” (for instance, the total number of tourists in a municipality, in order to be more meaningful, has to be expressed not only as “blunt number”, but also in relation to the resident population).
At the end of the meeting participants agree on the fact that having structured and reliable data is really useful for developing the local tourism management policies, and that it would be a good idea to bring further the data collection system developed by the project.
The second session was dedicated to gather and discuss, on the initiative of individual participants, a first set of proposals which, if properly developed, could be used in the action plan of the project and become the basis, if possible, for the development of projects to be presented in the coming years on calls for funding at national and European level. During the session, the following proposals were presented, according a defined format, and discussed: 1. BEYOND THE SEA: PROJECT FOR DESEASONALISATION  AND FOR STRENGTHENING OF NICHE TOURISM
2. DESEASONALISATION TROUGH SPORTS TOURISM
3. BEACHES OF TUSCANY
4. SEA4CHILDREN

Each proposal was developed in small groups and then presented in a final plenary session by the participants themselves. Follows a brief summary of each proposal.
After the presentation of each proposal, a discussion started, and the participants noticed that the proposals shared some topics. Furthermore, they noticed that these projects could be further developed, perhaps with the support of a standardised form or in occasion of the future calls for proposals.
The discussion showed that it would be useful to implement additional projects which could renew and further qualify the tourist offer of the maritime and coastal Tuscan destinations. The emerged proposals will be shared with the other MITOMED partners and included in the Action Plan of the project, that will be circulated among the municipalities participating in project activities.

At the end of the meeting a self evaluation questionnaire was delivered to the participants  with the objective to evaluate the experience of the Focus Group, to validate the tools developed by MITOMED (GAP, SWOT, survey),to provide useful information for subsequent phases of the project, such as the Action Plan, and to plan future actions.

 

 

 

Tuscany Region Focus Group meeting titled “Which proposals for the development of the sustainable tourism of maritime and coastal Tuscany?”, held on 9th April 2015 in Livorno, had the aim to present the results achieved by the project and to focus, with the contribution of all participants, on possible ideas and proposals to be included in the Action Plan for maritime and coastal tourism that will be produced by MITOMED project partners.


The meeting, organised  in the framework of Open Consultation Phase of the MITOMED project, was attended by relevant regional stakeholders of Maritime and Coastal Tourism sector.

The meeting was structured in two parts. The first session - WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED WITH MITOMED - was dedicated to the discussion of the results of MITOMED GAP and SWOT analyses (to which many participants have contributed through the data collection), also in order to improve the territorial information system and the currently used system of indicators. The second session- IDEAS AND PROPOSALS TO INCREASE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE MARITIME AND COASTAL TOURISM SECTOR IN OUR REGION – was dedicated to discuss and collect a first set of proposals that can be included in the Action Plan and, ideally, be further developed in order to be presented for financing by European and regional funds. 

 

During the first part of the meeting the following results of the analysis of the Project were presented, in order to validate the findings and identify the gaps of knowledge on which it would be useful and important to invest in the future. In detail:
• the results of the survey (trough ETIS questionnaires) on maritime and coastal tourism in Tuscany;
• The results of the SWOT analysis (threats / opportunities / strengths / weaknesses) at the sea basin level;
• The system of indicators used to evaluate the competitiveness of coastal tourism in partner regions, using the simplified system of “traffic-lights”.

 

During the discussion, participants expressed their appreciation of the work done and agreed on the need, shared by Tuscany Region, to collect accurate and realistic data and surveys respecting the peculiarity of each area. In this regard it was expressed the difficulty, by those who led the analysis, to find comparable and homogeneous data: sometimes the data are expressed with different units and criteria, so that it is difficult to conduct a comparative and accurate analysis.

Another emerging need is that in many cases the data has to be “weighted” (for instance, the total number of tourists in a municipality, in order to be more meaningful, has to be expressed not only as “blunt number”, but also in relation to the resident population).

 

At the end of the meeting participants agree on the fact that having structured and reliable data is really useful for developing the local tourism management policies, and that it would be a good idea to bring further the data collection system developed by the project. 

 

The second session was dedicated to gather and discuss, on the initiative of individual participants, a first set of proposals which, if properly developed, could be used in the action plan of the project and become the basis, if possible, for the development of projects to be presented in the coming years on calls for funding at national and European level. During the session, the following proposals were presented, according a defined format, and discussed:
1. BEYOND THE SEA: PROJECT FOR DESEASONALISATION  AND FOR STRENGTHENING OF NICHE TOURISM
2. DESEASONALISATION TROUGH SPORTS TOURISM

3. BEACHES OF TUSCANY

4. SEA4CHILDREN


Each proposal was developed in small groups and then presented in a final plenary session by the participants themselves. Follows a brief summary of each proposal.

After the presentation of each proposal, a discussion started, and the participants noticed that the proposals shared some topics. Furthermore, they noticed that these projects could be further developed, perhaps with the support of a standardised form or in occasion of the future calls for proposals.

The discussion showed that it would be useful to implement additional projects which could renew and further qualify the tourist offer of the maritime and coastal Tuscan destinations.

The emerged proposals will be shared with the other MITOMED partners and included in the Action Plan of the project, that will be circulated among the municipalities participating in project activities.

 
At the end of the meeting a self evaluation questionnaire was delivered to the participants  with the objective to evaluate the experience of the Focus Group, to validate the tools developed by MITOMED (GAP, SWOT, survey),to provide useful information for subsequent phases of the project, such as the Action Plan, and to plan future actions.
 
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