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Home    Projects

MEDINA - Mediterranean by Internet Access, An Access Gate for Sustainable Development of Cultural Tourism in the Mediterranean Area - 314

Eumedis Project number: 314

EC Project code: 314

Contract "signature" date: 2001-12-27

Planned start date: 2002-03-01

Planned duration: 51 months

Planned end date: 2006-06-01

Actual start date: 2002-03-01

Total Budget: 2.898.862,00 ?

EC Contribution: 

2.231.544,00 �

Sector: Tourism and cultural heritage


The tourist sector in the Mediterranean area is undoubtedly on an upward trend. Demand is growing and as a result all related infrastructures are expanding, including the IT resources needed to meet the new requirements. While the influx of tourists is showing a common annual growth rate of between 1% to 1.07%, the actual figures for each individual country vary a great deal depending on the particular situation of each country.
Within this growth scenario, there has been a qualitative shift in the demand for tourism, with the introduction of culture-oriented tourism. This kind of tourism is based on rediscovering features which have not been included in the �traditional� type of tourism and aims to exploit hitherto unexploited resources.
This phenomenon may well worsen the situation of the tourist sector of those Mediterranean Partner Countries which in the near future are not successful in differentiating their tourism supply, usually of a traditional kind and limited to seaside tourism. In fact, in these countries, tourism of a traditional kind does not have scope for any further development.
Generally speaking, tourism has of course benefited from the availability of new technologies: individuals and travel agencies can now advertise their services at a low cost and information is available to a wide audience (hotels, rooms, houses, and car rentals, group journeys, restaurants, etc.); airlines can offer on-line bookings at extremely low cost; and governmental institutions have been able to highlight the interesting features peculiar to their countries.
Potential users interested in culture-oriented tourism today cannot find cultural dimensions exploiting features outside the traditional dimensions or Trans-Mediterranean dimensions, such as North-South linking aspects and common features of the Mediterranean culture, originating from within. Nor can they have the possibility of following virtual cultural paths or organising cultural-oriented tourist itineraries which cover diverse themes and different geographic areas, or benefit from the promotion and development of local (sub-national) dimensions.


Overall Objectives
� Creation of a state-of-the-art technical, methodological, organisational and economic infrastructure to support the development of culture-related tourism within and across several Mediterranean countries.

Specific Objectives
� To develop a new and modern approach to enhance culture-oriented tourism.
� To implement a technical �application framework�, at both a transnational and national level, using advanced multi channel technologies and supporting culture-oriented tourism.
� To experience an organisational infrastructure, developed at national and transnational level, including public and private sectors, and actors within the tourist and cultural sectors, capable of developing and maintaining a structured intervention, through ICT tools, towards culture-oriented tourism.
� To increase the knowledge of the target groups and the general public of the opportunities emerging from the application of ICT to culture-oriented tourism.


The main features of the project will be: high quality techniques, extensive training for the people involved, a broad dissemination of the results, a strong management (both for the project and for the following take-off activities).
In order to be phased with the various development stages of the MEDINA Project, the activities required to achieve the objectives outlined above will be carried out in 3 separate phases.
For each phase the financial aspects of sustainability will also be taken into account: the purpose of this exercise is to identify, at the earliest possible stage, the way to ensure a satisfactory level of financial revenues, in accordance with the level of involvement of the parties.

The primary goal in phase 1 is to identify the means to establish credibility within the cultural tourism industry and to access the local resources of cultural heritage and tourism content. The successful development and marketing of the local activities is one of the secondary goals.

Target market: The MEDINA project�s ideal target in phase 1 will be Ministries of Tourism and Culture, cultural tourism associations, technology transfer centres, universities, industry enablers and /or market experts with the following characteristics: geographic proximity to the cultural tourism communities and sectoral/technological involvement.

Pricing: A key issue will be to prepare and propose a policy of business-based fees to participate in and receive electronic services and web hosting from the local service centre. One important goal of the MEDINA sustainability plan is to create a new company as a local tourism and cultural service centre, thereby triggering and multiplying the intervention of financial players in the MEDINA network.

Communication / promotion: The first level of promotion to be analysed should be targeted at the upper management of the Ministries of Tourism and Culture, cultural tourism associations, technology transfer centres, universities, and industry enablers in the value chain. These experts should attend to workshops on the project�s e-business methodology, marketing plan, shifted business model and cost/benefit analysis.

The goal of phase 2 is to identify the conditions under which the network of service centres is to be used by organisations operating in the cultural tourism sector, thereby implementing local marketing activities. The targeted users should be affiliated and trained through events, workshops, via e-mails and newsletters and tests.

MEDINA�s target market in phase 2 is the people appointed to run the service centre and the operational personnel of organisations participating in the community of interest. Criteria for selecting the organisations among those participating in the value chain of tourism and culture in each country should be established.

Pricing: A global strategy for pricing should be studied and proposed at this stage. A possible �MEDINA strategy� for the service centres created could be to utilise a combination of fixed and variable fees to charge the organisations for the use of the services that the local cultural tourism portal and overall MEDINA network will provide to them. After a fixed 1st subscription each organisation could pay a:

Monthly Fee: This fee is the monthly subscription rate for service centre services. This is meant to cover the intangible but critical value added benefits of the service.

Transaction Fee: The transaction fee could be charged per transaction processed or per travel package delivered. This fee is meant to include the incremental value to the cultural tourism organisation per transaction,

Communication / promotion: Promotional activity to be analysed in this phase should be of a general nature, on a large scale and at multiple locations. Potential tools/modalities envisaged are:
Test-beds with target cultural tourism organisations (such as museums, hotels etc.) and on-site demos.
Tourism segment trade shows and promotions in magazines to increase awareness.
Joint promotions with strategic partners subscribing to the service centre.
Direct marketing targeted at the upper management of each organisation in the community. The local service centre management should be responsible for initial contact and sales efforts.

Phase 3 should focus on the roll-out of the local service centres.

Target market: The primary target of phase 3 should be the operational staff of the service centres, the organisations affiliated to cultural tourism communities as well as the end global tourism community that will buy the travel packages.

Communication / promotion: In this phase the analysis of communications aspects should focus on the one hand on the possibilities afforded by using the MEDINA infrastructure itself (including direct on-line marketing activities and links to high traffic web sites) and on the other hand, the promotion of MEDINA services to the end customers (the tourists) and to travel agencies through electronic or paper-based communications should be analysed, and suitable recommendations made.

Review of the applicability of the recommendations of Phases 1 and 2
Depending on the achievements of the project, a review of the recommendations of Phases 1 and 2 should be made in this phase in order to verify their suitability and take adequate corrective measures if needed.

Expected results:
� A generalized application-framework for designing sophisticated WWW applications aimed at culture-oriented tourism.
� The definition of a flexible, yet powerful, HW and SW architecture to support the deployment of sophisticated multi-channel ICT applications, throughout the entire Mediterranean area.
� The design and implementation of tools (specifically tailored for MEDINA) to support application design development; these tools could be easily adapted to support the development of similar applications for different areas.
� For each participating country, a national Website concerning culture-oriented tourism, consistent with the guidelines and suggestions of MEDINA.
� The MEDINA Portal, which will promote culture oriented tourism around common themes and across several Mediterranean countries.
� Accurate assessment of quality and effectiveness (based on inspection and empirical testing) of the applications generated within MEDINA.
� Specific training of the people managing and implementing the project.
� Encouraging further development of communication infrastructures in each Mediterranean country, in a harmonized and compatible manner.


1. Comprehensive guidelines for the development of culture-oriented tourism, supported by ICT.

2. A state-of-the-art technical and methodological infrastructure.

3. A "federation" of integrated National Websites concerning culture-oriented tourism in the Mediterranean Partner Countries.

4. A Euro-Mediterranean portal oriented towards both end-users, directly organising their tourism, and professional operators looking for specific information.

5. Overall increase of operators� knowledge for the management and use of the Portal, the National Websites, and their related tools.

6. Stable interaction between private and public actors for activities related to culture-oriented tourism.

7. Better programming and organisation, new opportunities for tourists, tourist operators, public administrations and ICT operators.

8. Long-term cooperation and maintenance of the Portal by the various partners involved.

9. Sustainability of the National Websites in the Mediterranean Partner Countries.

Project Management: 

A Steering Committee is responsible for the overall coordination of the Project. It is made up of representatives of the Applicant and of each Partner.
A Project Head, representing the Applicant, will have overall responsibility for all project activities. (S)he will be the interface with the Steering Committee for all issues related with the Project. (S)he will also represent the Consortium to the European Commission.
A Project Manager, to be designated by the Applicant, will be responsible for the organisation, planning, financial and administrative control of the Project�s activities at an operational and technical level. The Project Head, the Project Manager, and the operational team will form the central coordinating body of the project and will ensure the performance of Project actions in accordance with their objectives.
The Partners� activities will be coordinated by a Partner Project Manager, to be designated by the Partners themselves. The management of each Sub Project (SP) is attributed to a Partner, who is responsible for that SP.
Scientific and Technical �ad hoc� Committees are responsible for providing orientation on cultural and tourism content and other aspects concerning the implementation of the project.
A monitoring team of experts, under the supervision of the IA5 CO-leader, will provide step-by-step monitoring of project implementation and will check on conformance to quality assurance measures defined in WP0 activities.

Web site:

Project Coordinator: Maria Luigia, Calia (more details ...)

Leading partner


Istituto per il Mediterraneo []

Participating Partners


Ministère de la Communication et de la Culture []


Johannes Kepler University of Linz - Department of Information Systems []


INTRASOFT International []


Cyprus Tourism Organisation []


Conservatoire des Cuisines Méditerranéennes []


Foundation of the Hellenic World []


Ministero delle Attivita Produttive []
Politecnico Department of Electronics and Information - HOC Laboratory
Politecnico di Milano
Vodafone Omnitel


Ministry of Culture []


Ministry of Tourism []


Ministry of Tourism []


Ministere du Tourisme

Palestinian Authority

Ministry of Culture - Directorate of Cultural Heritage []
Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation []


Ministry of Tourism []


Office National du Tourisme Tunisien []