Ecotourism: Towards the creation of an uromediterranean network for the preservation of heritage

• This is what was recommended during the 5th edition of DéfisMed University. • International cooperation will be put in place from 2022, mobilizing several localities in Morocco and France to promote the activity as a driver of sustainable development of the territories. Can ecotourism take a major place in tourism afterwards? Which sustainable economic model for which new virtuous uses? These are all questions that were at the heart of the work of the 5th edition of the DéfisMed University, last week in Chaouen. It should be noted that the international NGO DéfisMed is active in favor of ecotourism as a priority lever to be activated to encourage the sustainable development of the territories of the Mediterranean region. In the current context of revival, this debate interests Moroccan professionals and researchers and French domain. For everyone, the emergence of respectful tourism, enhancing the natural and cultural heritage is increasingly asserting itself. The time has therefore come to make the choice of sustainability in the broad sense of the term. Rural areas, because they have a lower concentration of the population, could increasingly be the most popular destinations. In a search for emotional comfort rather than purely material, these places offer the practice of recreational activities and meeting with locals at a comfortable social distance. Morocco has an exceptional variety of these resources and can therefore position itself in many market segments of rural tourism. However, it remains to be seen how to protect these natural sites and promote their sustainable development while opening them up to tourist activity. In other words, how in this post-Covid era to build the transition to ecological tourism. To this end, it was proposed during the 5th edition of the DéfisMed University to support the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean network around ecological and cultural tourism under the impetus of the eponymous NGO. In this context, Morocco can play a pivotal role with territories like Chaouen, but also those of the Marrakech-Safi region and Souss Massa, underlines Hassan Aboutayeb, consultant in tourism and sustainable development. As a result of this meeting, cooperation between Moroccan and French territories is thus emerging, stimulating participatory ecotourism. DéfisMed wishing to set up international cooperation in 2022 which will mobilize several localities in Morocco and France to promote ecotourism as a driver of sustainable development and attractiveness of the territories. In this process, civil society, entrepreneurs, visitors and young people should play a major role, in particular using digital technology. It remains today at the institutional level, at the national level, to act upstream for the opening of the sky without restriction to allow the mobility of all the emitting markets towards the Morocco destination.