In July, the Odyssea Al-Ándalus programme presented their new sustainable development model for marine tourism, established by the Andalucian councils of Tourism and Commerce and financed by European Regional Development Fund. Marinas participating in this programme include Marina del Este in Almuñécar (Granada), Puerto Sherry (Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz) and El Ejido (Almería), together with Moroccan ports in Tangier and Tetouan.
The aim of Odyssea Al-Ándalus is to create a structured network between port cities in Andalucia and Morocco via a common management model that recalls important maritime and historic routes through the media of marine tourism, gastronomy, culture and natural history representative of each destination. This then enthuses visitors arriving by sea to venture further inland and enjoy a more profound understanding and appreciation of the local area.
This particular programme is distinctive however for having developed an environmental evaluation system; one that employs facets of other successful and user-friendly models but which in this case has been adapted to meet the characteristics typical of marinas, their processes, activities, services and requirements. The model includes the following areas of evaluation:
- Water quality in marinas
- Air quality
- Waste water management
- Waste production and management
- Use of natural resources
- Environmental management
Each marina can be evaluated and then the results compared with others in the cluster since the model provides the basis for obtaining objective assessment values in individual facilities; identifying strengths and areas needing improvement in order to move towards being more sustainable marinas.
The model is based on environmental indicators allowing marinas to both measure results over time and compare their results with other operators and conditions. The system can also be used as an aid to planning; incorporating these methods at design stage is particularly effective for the long term.
The application of the model to other marinas works to improve the relationship between the marinas and their surroundings, also serving to comprise as a distinguishing quality and a self-generating interest in researching further sustainable solutions. The Odyssea programme www.odyssea.eu should be recognised for having applied signficant experience and understanding of the tourism industry to meet the needs of ports and marinas as both representative of and a gateway to their local area, whilst also incorporating an environmental component that benefits the entire life and value chain of the project.
José Luís Fayos
GLOBAL MANAGEMENT Consultoría Náutica