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STAMP: Sustainable Tourism Ancient Mediterranean Ports

Today, the tourism industry is one of the most vital commercial sectors in the Mediterranean Sea region mainly due to the attraction of the area’s history, culture and natural environment. Conventional operating methods of the industry are characterised by dividing up the market for local tourist facilities amongst towns, areas or countries that are fed by air or land transport of tourists. This does not address sustainable expansion of tourism or a transnational maritime tourism model supporting many more destinations concurrently. Thus, for market expansion and long-term entrepreneurship growth to be achieved an innovative transnational maritime tourism model needs to be explored and developed. This will require the formation or development of a variety of products and services that pursue environmentally-friendly practices and cultural enhancement, supporting and promoting sustainable tourism bottom-up, preserving the very elements from which local and transnational sustainable tourism initiatives can benefit.

The “Magna Graecia” territory of the Mediterranean Region that spans Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, has historical and archaeological attractions that could be a key factor in developing tourist destinations and promoting sustainable tourism. Here there are many coastal towns and villages that have a rich social and cultural history as fishing and trade ports. Throughout this history they have been connected by the ancient transnational trade route called the “Maritime Silk Road” and this can be exploited when considering alternative operating methods for expanding sustainable maritime tourism.

Hence the integrative themes “Ancient Mediterranean Ports” and “Maritime Silk Road” constitute the conceptual and promotional component needed to invigorate Innovation Clusters of SME’s in the field of sustainable tourism in this Mediterranean region and to extend their reach internationally.STAMP – Sustainable Tourism – Ancient Mediterranean Ports” is a collaborative action between four Cluster and Business Networking Organisations in these four Mediterranean countries (Confindustria Vibo Valentia, Italy; The Synthesis Centre for Research and Education, Cyprus; Across Limits, Malta, and The Mediterranean Community, Greece). They aim to widen the reach of STAMP into their areas of the Mediterranean: thereby to increase the richness and variety of STAMP activities that support SMEs in this area.

The project’s products will include the What’sAshore: Who’sAround App that supports resource providers through offering them creative (IT-based) support facilities to local SME’s in ports and harbours innovate to advertise their own products and services, presented in a way that is accessible and attractive to a wide audience of potential coastal and maritime tourism clients. The benefit of this support for SMEs is enhanced through linking it with a process of formal accreditation for each SME confirming that they excel on “Sustainable Tourism” criteria.

Presentation of the Who'sAround: What'sAshore App

Most sailors and coastal and maritime tourists already have access to, and are familiar with resources that help them navigate by sea. These include the famous "waters pilot" books published by Imray and electronic navigation aids which present "water pilot " material in a similar way. While all these resources provide information relevant for navigation at sea they tell their users almost nothing about what they will find ashore should they choose to navigate into a particular harbour. For example: here is the a typical “Waters Pilot” map for Ormos Marathocampos, a small port in the Greek island of Samos.
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In contrast What’sAshore has well-informed and up-to date descriptions of the resources you can find in each place you may visit. For example here is What’sAshore’s the Location Map for Ormos Marathocampos, a small port in the Greek island of Samos. You can see, on the right of this map, icons in the harbour area of Ormos Marathocampos identifying a bakery, two restaurants a supermarket, a hotel and a hire sailing cruiser base, Moreover, on the left of the map, easily accessible from Ormos Harbour by boat tender, bicycle or local transport is an apartment complex, a fish taverna and a shop selling local craft products and hiring out bicycles.

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Clicking on any icon in the map takes you to a page giving more information about the resource indexed by the icon. For instance, clicking on the Icon for “Nikos Bicycle Hire and Crafts” takes you to this page in the What'sAshore Who'sAround App:
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Exploring Ashore

Selecting the “Explore ashore” function in the App’s main menu takes the user to this page:

In fact, this map indexes 22 more detailed, larger scale “area” maps, which are “intelligently tiled”, each showing the coastline and islands of interest in the vicinity of the point clicked by the user

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For instance clicking in the region of “Samos" in this map takes one to the area map shown opposite.

In this area map, each “ship’s wheel” Icon identifies a harbour or port that is also described in the Imray “Greek Waters Pilot” or “Turkish Waters Pilot”, so that it is easy for a water pilot user to find out “what's ashore" in any particular harbour or port that he or she may have identified in the relevant water pilot or equivalent electronic navigation aid.

For example clicking on the wheel “Ormos Marathocampos” in this screen in the App takes you to the Ormos Marathocampos Location Map shown previously.

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Finding a Boat

Some users of the What’sAshore App will be travelling in their own boats, or with friends, or will be travelling by public water transport (ferries, etc.). However, many intending coastal and maritime tourists will want to hire a boat, in order to cruise and explore ashore in this area Hence, selecting the function “find a boat” in the What’sAshore main menu will take the user to this screen.
You can click on any icon in this map to see more details of the hire boats available at this location .

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Clicking on the "StaySail" icon at “Samos” in the map on the “Find a boat” page will take the App user to a page showing what Albatross Boats, located at Ormos Marathocampos , Samos, will have to offer in this respect:
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The StaySail network

Many coastal and maritime tourists will prefer a package which combined a stay in local accommodation (including village houses) in or near an Ancient Mediterranean Port with hiring a boat for part of the stay. For instance, there are many attractive sailing itineraries for 2-3 day voyages in a comfortable and safe small sailing cruiser complemented by a stay ashore in accommodation with full domestic facilities.

For example, this What'sAshore Location Map identifies the Staysail Network in the Zygi and Alaminos Harbour area, Cyprus.

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  1. Registering with The Mediterranean Community in order to explore who’s around.

In the top menu bar for the screen for each location there are two buttons which take you to Screens that enable you (I) to put a message about any visit you plan to this location (when, and visit contact information, and (ii) see who else has posted a message about the visits they plan to make to that location. The user takes responsibility for posting and managing the information about his or her own visits, and the Who’sAround functions provide the tools that enable him or her to do this. This facility is available to users who have registered with the Mediterranean Community. If you are not already a member of the Mediterranean Community, you can easily join (free of Charge) by selecting the “Register” option in the App’s Main Menu, which takes you to this screen:
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Mediterranean Community members can select the “Login” option from the App’s main menu, which takes them to this screen.

Login is required for users of the What’sAshore App who want to insert any “who’s around’ information in the Mediterranean Community database (“set your visit dates”), or to view information from the database concerning “who’s around”, ensures that the information can be shared only between people who are registered as members of the Mediterranean Community.

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Given login is successful, the user is now able to access the WhatsAshore App’s “who’s around” functions: “Set your visit dates” and “See who’s around” for any location he or she selects while exploring ashore. Creating and managing one’s own visit messages for any location, and sharing them with other Mediterranean Community members, is achieved by clicking the “select your visit dates “ button in the top menu bar for the screen for that location. For instance, within the “Ormos Marathocampos” location screen (shown, clicking this button takes the user to the following screen, where the user can set visit messages' parameters and contents.
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Alternatively the user can click the button “See whose around” which takes him or her to a screen where the user can see the messages posted by other members of the Mediterranean Community who intend to visit the particular location and can filter them by selecting a particular member’s name or start-date to end-date period.
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Facilities for Resource Providers.

The text on each “Resource offer” page is stored in the Mediterranean Community database and resource provider who is he owner of the page has the option to update the text displayed at any time. Thus a restaurant owner could, for instance, publish the exact menu on offer each day, or a hire boatyard owner could update the specifications of the boats available for hire each time the situation changes.

Users of the “What’sAshore: Who’sAround” App are notified about the resource offering pages whose text may be updated each time the access the particular page For instance, when a user accesses the "Blue Beads" Restaurant page (shown above, pop-up message "Description updated from Database" is initially displayed, as shown opposite:

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Also, if the user accesses a ‘resource offer” page where he or she is the owner, he or she will receive the message “you are the owner of this page. You can edit the text and then Confirm Edit”, as shown opposite.

When the user clicks on the “confirm edit” button, after making the desired changes, the text for this page is immediately updated in the Mediterranean Community database, and for all users of the What’sAshore App subsequently accessing this page.
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