Since 1994, the Phoenicians’ Route has been promoted as an international Mediterranean Route and from 2003 it is certified within the Council of Europe “Cultural Routes Program” (1987), in 2008 it is the object of the so-called “Ajaccio Declaration”, agreement of the Ministers of Tourism from 10 Mediterranean countries.
In 2016 the UNWTO – World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon and the Council of Europe (EPA-EICR), promoted a “Core Working Group on the Phoenicians’ Route”. For technical and thematic features, the Phoenicians’ Route is often related to Silk Route.
The operating sectors of reference are Intercultural dialogue, education, enhancement of heritage and innovative and creative sustainable tourism.
The Phoenicians’ Route is managed by an international réseauporteur (carrier network), the international confederation, which operates in 11 Mediterranean countries developing new systems for managing cultural, tangible and intangible heritage, new forms of cultural tourism, based on creativity and experience, a new approach to develop the hospitality offered by the communities, following models of responsible tourism. For this reason, the Phoenicians’ Route can be considered a permanent laboratory on new ways of travelling, communicating places, telling about the heritage and the relevance of its values. In practice, it is a tool fostering the dialogue between tourism and culture, between environment and users, in mutual respect and in the optimisation of the balance costs and benefits for all the actors in the process. A g-local approach that connects the territories to the international market, and to the stakeholders among them. For this reason, a series of excellence national or regional Routes called “Smart Ways” have been developed for their dynamic and relationship skills. Furthermore, a series of hubs along the Smart Ways, Interpretation Centres of the Phoenicians’ Route are being completed to encourage the meeting between guests and communities, to better discover the territory and the experiences it can offer, a more modern version of the welcome and cultural proposal, no longer intended as a collection of objects and testimonies of the history and culture of a territory, but as an indication of the messages that from those places go to the heart of the traveler, even more welcomed by the local community. The Centres are also able to provide the services of the fruition through the participation of local stakeholders, selected and sensitised to the best reception.
In particular, over the years, partnerships have been developed in tourism field between local operators and international tour operators. Destination management operative tools are being developed to establish stable relationships with the market and the tour operators.
In the spirit of collaboration between local operators and the tourist market, the “Phoenicians’ Route Tour Operator Alliance” has been created anddesigned to involve Tour Operators in the development of tourism strategies (for example: branding policies, marketing strategies, capacity building, DMO-DMC development and more) in the different areas crossed by the Phoenicians’ Route, but also the development of good practices whereit is highlighted the value of the mutual respect between the host and the guest, between places and tourist flow, among operators who thus become business partners. In this regard, we underline that it is no longer a B2B approach (business to business) but P2P (people to people).
Adhering to the initiative, international tour operators could concretely contribute to the development of a new form of tourism based on quality, on new products in the territories where they already operate but also in new destinations ready to offer themselves in this renewed way. This collaboration between the local and the global level is supported and facilitated by the Phoenicians’ Route which also calls for the fundamental support of the World Tourism Organisation and the countries concerned, many of which are already sensitive to the proposal and are ready to develop this innovation.
Joining it is simple: just fill out the model provided (word) by the Phoenicians’ Route and send it by email.
After a first phase of collectingthe adhesions – the Phoenicians’ Route already has over 200 tour operators worldwide actively collaboratingwith it – we will proceed with the realisation of the web marketing and networking initiatives.
Thanks to the collaboration with the UNWTO and the interested countries, we will soon be sending operational proposals to the members in order to become protagonists of the new method to offer international tourism trips and unique experiences, following the Phoenicians’ Route.