Tourism is one of the most important industries in the Mediterranean. This is also why the need was felt for more appropriate methods of tourism planning and management, especially with regard to conflicts between tourism and other branches of economy, and tourism negative impacts upon the environment.
Changes in climate, including increased temperature and incidents of extreme weather events such as heat waves, torrential rains or floods, as well as their consequences for changing ecosystem conditions, contributing to, for instance, forest fires or algae blooms, have affected many tourist destinations in the past and will affect tourism increasingly in the future. In the long term, coastal erosion and sea level rise may affect coastal tourism, calling for long‐term planning solutions. Given that many coastal ecosystems and coastal destinations already face substantial human pressure, it is of great importance to integrate these expected changes in coastal planning (Report on the Seminar “Coastal Tourism in the Mediterranean: Adapting to Climate Change" Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy, 8 - 10 June 2009).
In the ICZM framework, tourism is identified as one of the most important activities in coastal areas. A number of activities initiated by UNEP and other international organisations (EU, EEA, OECD) are pointing out the need to encourage the implementation of pilot actions for ICZM at local, national and regional scale. The ICZM approach provides a comprehensive set of actions associated with its development cycle and today is applied worldwide. However, establishing its coherent and comprehensive implementation within the tourism sector remains a current challenge (UNEP & PAP/RAC. 2009. Sustainable Coastal Tourism - An integrated planning and management approach).