Malta, 1 March 2018. The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi and the President of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, Tony Zahra, together with its Secretary General, Andrew Agius Muscat, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of the President of Malta, H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
The MoU focuses notably on the development of synergies and ways of collaboration to implement projects and initiatives across the Mediterranean region with a view to capitalize on the tourism’s potential to advance sustainable economic growth, environmental protection as well as intercultural dialogue, tolerance and understanding.
“This collaboration between the UfM Secretariat and the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation highlights the commitment of both parties for peace-building through tourism. Tourism is a constructive means for peace and prosperity as it is an ideal sector to bring people together from diverse cultures”, said H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
“The importance of tourism for the economy of the Euro-Mediterranean region, as well as its potential for growth and its impact on job creation and cultural understanding cannot be ignored. Through this agreement, the UfM will capitalise on its role as regional platform to foster synergies and promote concrete initiatives in the field of tourism”, said Fathallah Sijilmassi.
The signature took place on 13 February 2018 in Malta, just a few weeks before the 5th Mediterranean Tourism Forum, which kicked off on the 1rst of March in the same country under the theme “the Beautiful Life Unites Everyone (BLUE)”. The forum will gather over 1,000 participants from around 40 countries to discuss ways to promote tourism as vector for peace and stability across the region. UfM Deputy Secretary General, Sudqi Omoush, and Maltese Special Envoy to the UfM, Marisa Farrugia, will participate.
The UfM Secretariat and the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation will collaborate in this field in coherence with the UfM Roadmap for Action, endorsed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of UfM Member States in January 2017, in Barcelona. The UfM Roadmap acknowledges the importance of tourism for the socio-economic development of the region. The UfM Secretariat signed recently another MoU with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).