a project co-funded by the EU promoting Sustainable and Responsible Tourism in Mediterranean countries involving Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia
the Mediterranean network in the History
The first Mediterranean networks date to the Prehistory, when a developed trade existed of some products (like obsidian), and mythological/ritual concepts (concerning the “Mother Goddesses”, the burying ceremonies, the ancestors cults, the fertility ceremonies, etc.), fishing techniques and cultivation techniques were spread off all around in the Mediterranean Basin and important movements of people in the coastal areas and through the Mediterranean sea were carried out for different reasons. Those networks increased enormously during the pre-Roman age and the Roman one and during the Islamic grow up in the Middle Age, The consequences of this spread off enter now in many elements that constitute relevant tourist attractions, such as ritual sites, traditional symbols in handicrafts and arts, traditional anthropized landscapes, music and songs, etc.; more, they can constitute the most important element of a Sustainable Tourism for any Mediterranean area, especially as an offer for the not-Mediterranean people. Promoting this networking historical dimension as a primary tourist one and as a main tourist offer methodology means:
- avoiding competition among similar tourist areas, with similar landscapes and historical elements and increasing integrated offers mainly for not-Mediterranean people;
- transforming the results of the historical networks in the main characteristic of the tourist offer, not only regarding culture, handicrafts, traditions, foods, monuments, art, music, but also regarding landscapes and the inter-action between the human intervention and the natural environments;
- avoiding a “chippings logic” of a very limited theme tourist offering and promoting a wide-angle tourist offering including all the natural and cultural elements and focusing the attention to their relations and inter-actions at local level, and Mediterranean level.
Specifically regarding the historical networks dimension consequences in the tourist attractions promotion within a Sustainable Tourism today, the most important elements of promoting a networking approach and underlining the historical networking logic in the Mediterranean area are:
- it constitutes an advantage in the international tourist market offer, especially towards the not-Mediterranean people, and reduce the negative effects of the intra-Mediterranean tourist competition;
- it contributes to a real sustainable approach of tourist strategies concerning the relations with the local cultures and identities, due to the fact that those cultures and identities are deeply characterized by the consequences of that historical networking logic in the Mediterranean area;
- it promotes the whole galaxy of potential tourist elements of any local area (monuments, foods, traditions, environment and anthropic interventions, handicrafts, landscape, music and songs, art, historical events, festivals, etc.) and the interconnection among those elements in different Mediterranean areas, facilitating “integrated tourist offers” especially for not-Mediterranean people.