Professor Clive Finlayson, Director of the Gibraltar National Museum and the Gorham’s Cave Complex UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently attended a major congress that addressed the development of sustainable tourism along coastlines. He was invited as a guest speaker at a round table dedicated to the subject of “Coastal heritage as engine of tourism”.
The programme placed the tourist in the centre. Its objective was to provoke powerful discussion on tourist satisfaction, quality of the experiences, accessibility to services, and the long-term sustainability of activities. It discussed how to generate sustainable experiences, how to integrate them for easy access and to create a suite of complementary services. The creation of product diversity was discussed, how much value tourism could add, and how visitor stays and mean expenditure could be increased at local level.
Sun&Blue took place in Almeria from the 15th to the 17th November and was the most important Blue Tourism congress to be held in Europe. Its aim was to become a meeting place for key actors in the field, highlighting unique examples of innovation in Blue Tourism. It offered an opportunity to showcase successful initiatives in diverse destinations and hosted a series of renowned experts related to the fields of tourism and marine conservation.
Reporting on the congress, Spanish media reflected on the caves of Gibraltar, with their Neanderthal connection, as a touristic site which had become the reference model for conservation and preservation. This was in line with the general discussion at the round table, which concluded that the protection of coastal sites, along with increasing visitor awareness, were essential in the development of coastal heritage destinations, to be created
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