The Blue Tourism Initiative  

Blue Tourism is a long-term research and innovation project focused on the environmental management, governance and planning of coastal and maritime tourism around major Regional Seas. It comprises policies review, as well as multi-stakeholders initiatives to strengthen sustainable blue tourism at local, national, regional and international level.

Indeed, coastal and marine areas are highly attractive regions for tourists worldwide and coastal and marine tourism has become a major economic sector for countries with accessible and attractive coastlines. Yet, coastal and marine tourism related sub-sectors and activities imply significant environmental harms.

A key challenge is thus to promote sustainable tourism practices in coastal and marine areas, ensuring positive externalities for the environment, the workers and the local communities. This challenge is especially relevant nowadays, in the context of the Covid 19 related tourism crisis recovery. The massive investments provided by the recovery plans offer a unique opportunity to transform the tourism sector into a more just and sustainable one.

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  • Assess environmental, economic and social impacts of the coastal and maritime tourism
  • Identify best practices for managing negative externalities and foster sustainable development
  • Review enabling condition for integrated management of coastal and maritime tourism
  • Formulate and implement concrete actions to insure a sustainable blue tourism at global and regional level
  • Analyse the key challenges and opportunities for the transition towards sustaible recovery patterns for the coastal and marine tourism sector


  • Extensive review of scientific and grey literature
  • Analysis of ocean governance and tourism management plan in regional seas
  • Survey of relevant actors at the international, regional and local level


The research findings are expected to contribute to the implementation of integrated ocean governance and sustainable tourism management at regional and global level. 

Past activities

On June 20th, and under the framework of the project eco-union association, IDDRI and FFEM/AFD organized the first Blue Tourism Forum at AFD’s offices in Paris.

During the day, one conference and three round-table discussions were organized to present the conclusions of the report Blue Tourism: towards a sustainable coastal and maritime tourism in regional seas and to present recommendations and experiences on the sustainability of tourism in coastal and marine environment.

More information

With the support from: