BlueMed unveiles Peristera, the largest Classic Age shipwreck also involving private hospitality industry to offer a cultural imprint to diving tourism
BLUEMED aims to support competent government authorities develop strategies, plans and policies for local coastal and island economies of the Mediterranean region in adopting a sustainable and responsible model for tourism development. There is a permanent demand from local authorities and entreprises to promote alternative means of tourism of the less developed coasts and islands of the regions and achieve tourism season prolongation.Main objective is the valorisation and protection of underwater natural and cultural heritage in accordance with UNESCO 2001, the raising of public awareness and tourism attractiveness. Main focus is on: a) a process scheme for supplying local/regional authorities with a multi-disciplinary plan (management models, innovative technologies) for Underwater Museums, Diving Parks and Knowledge Awareness Centres to be developed in (policy recommendations, management practices, networking and promotion); b)
promoting innovation in the diving industry and improving divers experience through innovative diving services and technologies; c) attracting an important part of the increasing number of people who choose diving tourism; d) introducing the wider public to underwater cultural heritage by means of 3D immersive visualisation in museum exhibitions and KACs; e) setting up ‘Underwater Natural and Cultural Routes in the Mediterranean’ web-based platform for a unified tourism promotion and networking of Med underwater natural and cultural heritage sites

Resources needed

The total budget for Region of Thessaly was 293,414.00 €

Evidence of success

-1 pilot site composed by 4 shipwrecks
-2 Knowledge Awareness Centers
-1 Virtual Diving System
-The recent change in National Legislation by the Ministry of Tourism that allows the Undewater Museums and Diving Parks to be visitable to tourists, under certain circumstances, which allows the creation of several Museums/Parks across the country
-The MoU between the Region of Thessaly and the Hotel's Association of Magnesia, for common actions in order to upgrade diving tourism in the area

Potential for learning or transfer

Coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean are tourism-based economies with important natural and cultural assets, and due to their geomorphic characteristics, they are also vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They are faced with common challenges: a) lack of coordinated policies, methods and tools adjusted to their specific needs to support a sustainable economic development, especially in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, b) ineffective protection of their natural and cultural heritage and inability to use them as assets for a sustainable and responsible tourism development, c) insufficient measures to tackle effects of climate change. BLUEMED aims to protect and preserve in a unified manner the underwater natural and cultural heritage of selected locations of the Mediterranean, to help coastal and island economies prosper by adopting a sustainable and blue model for tourism development, and to protect the marine ecosystem of the Mediterranean

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Main institution
Region of Thessaly
Start Date
November 2016
End Date
January 2020


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Good Practices being followed by

Anna Maria Caputano

Regione Piemonte