The social objectives of Mediterranean Pearls are as follows:
- To promote routes and greenways that will have a positive impact on society, create opportunities for recreation and transportation while stimulating a community's economy and development.
- To create new opportunities for non-motorized outdoor activities, while also improving the environment and city life.
- To encourage participation, involvement and networking between private individuals, companies, professional associations and universities with the goal of researching (and educating on) non-motorized, intermodal, capillary and flexible mobility.
- To encourage the "slow-landscape" concept, whereby a person's arrival to cultural or historical destinations is never unnaturally-abrupt as it would be with motorized transport.
- To organize round-table discussions on the relationship between rail and landscape as well as between lines in disuse and their environmental/touristic potential.
- To promote modes of travel that are both environmentally and economically sustainable; by focusing on the added value that a green route gives to an area as a whole.
The Mediterranean Pearls project aims to promote:
- Holiday activities centered on health and fitness, ranging from general well-being to mild sporting pursuits such as sightseeing, hiking, cycling, backpacking, Nordic walking and horseback riding.
- Discovery-vacations: phototourism, bird-watching, orienteering, environmental awareness.
- Holidays in relaxing environments or in places that offer true peace and quiet.
- Opportunities to attain a direct contact with nature through walking, hiking, mountain-biking or horseback riding.
- Opportunities for non-motorized navigation/boating of rivers and other waterways.
- Specialized vacations for families with young children.
- Theme-based, active vacations that combine natural sights with locally-produced foods (or short supply chain / bio- or seasonal foods), promotion of buying groups as well as visits to small hamlets and artistic villages.
- Welcoming accommodation in quaint multi-building hotels (such as restored small-village historic centers), agritourism centers, B&Bs, cycling hotels, etc.
The project's objective is to form a network of areas where a guest, upon being welcomed, may be struck by:
- The quality of the area to be enjoyed through non-motorized transport (on foot, by bicycle, by train or on horseback).
- The availability of environmentally-friendly transportation: easy mobility with public transport thanks to meaningful political initiatives aimed at sustainability (e.g., car-sharing, bike-sharing, carpooling, integrated public transport, Pedibus as well as use of alternative fuels).
- The quality of services and their easy accessibility (accessible tourism).
- The hosts' respect for the principles of environmental sustainability, and the authorities' smart area management.
- The treasuring of local culture, history and tradition (responsible tourism).
- The careful preservation of the area's natural, historical and architectural treasures.
Mediterranean Pearls follows the Sustainable Tourism guidelines articulated in the 1995 Lanzarote World Conference on Surstainable Tourism. Tourism should be:
- Environmentally-sustainable in the long run.
- Economically affordable.
- Ethically and socially equitable.
The guidelines of any single area will therefore have to be aimed at three objectives:
- Minimizing environmental damages (in the short and long run).
- Maximizing positive economic impact.
- Maximizing guest satisfaction
Sustainable development is a managed process based on the careful administration of resources on a global scale, in order to ensure their profitability while saving our cultural and environmental capital.