The extraordinary cultural heritage in the Mediterranean Basin with its fascinating cities rich in history, art, culture and traditions, offers an interesting background for the growth of tourism. Despite the leading role played by this sector, the model of governance developed in the area to date has mostly been focused on coastal resources while important historical centres situated in the inner territories still lack valorization.

Strengthening and qualifying the potential of the involved areas and increasing their exploitation is the challenge that F.O.P project aims to address by means of a model focused on innovative tourism plans for cultural and environmental heritage. Some selected sites in Italy (Lazio, Basilicata, Campania), Egypt (Alexandria), Spain (Córdoba), Malta (La Valletta), Palestine (Bethlehem), Tunisia (Mahdia) and Lebanon (Byblos), will thus become part of across-border network of historical centres in order to mutually strengthen their visibility in the tourism sector. Through the enhancement of these centres, touristic diversification and deseasonalization, and the positioning on broader market segments, the concerned local economies will be boosted and further developed. In addition, a widespread hospitality* will also be implemented in Palestine and Egypt in order to stimulate tourism in specific locations with new itineraries including old towns which, despite their value, have never been fully exploited.



Italian Geographical Society (Italy, Lazio)



  1. Mediterranean Universities Union (Italy, Lazio)
  2. University of Alexandria (Egypt, Al Iskandanyah)
  3. European University Centre for Cultural Heritage (Italy, Campania)
  4. Temi Zammit Foundation (Malta)
  5. Quality Program (Italy, Basilicata)
  6. Dar Al-Kalima College (Palestine)
  7. Consorcio provincial de desarrollo economico (Spain, Andalucía)
  8. Mahdia Municipality (Tunisia, Mahdia)
  9. Lebanese University (Lebanon).


Specific objective

Developing a cross-border planning model of sustainable tourism for local communities based on:

  • the definition of new and more effective strategies for the tourist valorization of selected historical centers
  • the training of local and national actors and authorities
  • the creation of a network among Mediterranean historical centres.


Expected results

  • Efficiency of historical centres’ management improved thanks to the implementation of new governance models
  • 7 local networks created with the involvement of 30 concerned actors
  • A Mediterranean historical centres network established including 20 sites and 210 tour operators
  • Accommodation system implemented: 2 widespread hotels and 30 micro-accommodations (120 beds)
  • Number of tourists hosted in the historical centres increased (between 5-10%)
  • Number of local tour operators increased (between 15-30%)
  • Tourism offer diversified through the creation new cultural and natural itineraries.


Main activities

  • Training of territorial promoters, tour operators and actors
  • Elaboration of a Sustainable Tourism Development Plan as well as a Tourism Marketing plan for the concerned sites
  • Development of a web-portal of Mediterranean Historical Centres with territorial directories
  • Production of a tourist guides based on augmented reality and mobile devices
  • Creation of two widespread hotels in Egypt and Palestine, through the functional adjustment of private houses currently not used or used for other functions not compatible with the features of historical centres.
  • Promotion of the network of Mediterranean historical centres through maps, audio-video guides, 200 signals placed in selected sites, 2000 brochures distributed, 7 geographical database created and contacts with 2000 stakeholders.


Target groups

  • Public local authorities
  • Tour operators
  • Tourists


Final beneficiaries

  • Employees of tourism industry
  • Historical centres inhabitants



24 months



  • Total budget: € 1.868.764
  • Programme contribution: € 1.679.291 (90%)
  • Project co-financing: € 189.473 (10%).