PM4ESD: a new project management methodology for tourism and culture

Today, at Villa Savonarola in Portici (Naples), the results of the European project PM4ESD – Project Management for European Sustainable Development – have been presented.

PM4ESD is a Leonardo Project funded within the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. Through the project, one of the most well known project management methodology, PRINCE2, has been transferred to two key sectors of sustainable development: tourism and culture. PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a method originated in the British public sector and is widely used, both in UK and internationally. It represents a best practice that contributes to an efficient and effective project management.

The result of this initiative is a methodology to help everyone involved and interested in the management of projects in the fields of tourism and culture. PM4ESD is a management approach that applies not only during the planning stage but also in the implementation process.

“Project management and sustainable development – says Christiane Dabdoub Nasser, Team Leader for the European Commission Programme Euromed Heritage – cannot be exclusive of each other. Cultural management and tourism management require inter-disciplinary interventions based on a multiplicity of competences. Stakeholders’ analysis and definition of their roles and responsibilities are prerequisites to any planning and implementation of a project and public awareness and participation are key factors in securing sustainability of projects. As valuable as they are, all these efforts would be enhanced by a tourism management methodology.”

Tourism, as the third major socio-economic activity in Europe, accounts for 10% of the EU GDP and 12% of the total EU employment. It is therefore a sector of upmost importance because, it contributes both to the development and integration of less advanced areas in the EU. PM4ESD methodology, if adopted in a proper way and on a large scale, would contribute to achieve great results, especially in terms of local development.

PM4ESD project has been developed by a multiplayer partnership composed by eight partners representing five different countries. The partnership has been led by the Municipality of Frigento (Italy – Campania Region) and coordinated by Jlag. The other partners have been: Camigliati Destination Management School (Italy); QRP International (Italy), an official training centre for delivering PRINCE2 courses; the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (Turkey); the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (United Kingdom); the University of Humanities and Economics (Poland); Auxilium (Austria), a not-for profit association that promotes education and culture in Europe.

“PM4ESD project – said Luigi Famiglietti, Mayor of Frigento – shows that a small municipality located in South Italy can develop an innovative project in Europe, if it is technically supported. It is what happened to the Municipality of Frigento, thanks to the technical assistance of Jlag. I hope that, through the PM4ESD project, we will soon have in Campania Region new project managers for sustainable tourism which will help us to promote an important heritage which so far has not been exploited to its full potential”.

The new methodology has been developed after a two-years research and a training pilot action in Edinburgh in May 2011 attended by fifteen students from across Europe. The result of these activities has been the publication of the first PM4ESD Manual (available in English, Italian, German, Polish and Turkish) and the development and the certification of trainings that will be implemented from 2012.

“Institutions at all levels and operators of the sector must work all together in order to develop a tourism policy at the EU level, which is competitive, sustainable, modern, socially responsible and accessible to all citizens” – wrote in the foreword of the PM4ESD Manual, Carlo Fidanza, Member of the European Parliament (EPP) and Rapporteur on the new political framework for tourism in Europe – Furthermore, it is crucial to cooperate, facilitate and complement the activities of the various actors and of national and regional authorities through all available means and that is why all projects in this directions, allowing exchange of best practices in the field and awareness raising activities are to be supported and further developed in a constructive perspective for an integrated EU tourism policy.”

“This project focuses on a sector that has a great potential in terms of development in the future – said Andrea Cozzolino, Member of the European Parliament (S&D) – The European Union is the first tourist destination in the world. Investing on tourism and culture is the right approach to create new job opportunities. As already stated by the European Parliament and the European Commission on the occasion of the European Tourism Day on 27 September, the tourism industry represents one of the main sources of development identified by the Lisbon Treaty. The Municipality of Frigento has been the Lead Coordinator of the PM4ESD project: this shows that when small towns cooperate with European partners and invest on innovation and quality, they can drive growth within their local communities. This initiative shows that cutting resources to local authorities is wrong because they can make an important contribution in facing and overcoming the crisis”.

“PM4ESD aims to transform tourism projects into concrete opportunities in terms of growth for local communities – says Silvia Barbone, Jlag Managing Director and PM4ESD Coordinator – to avoid the continuous development of initiatives without a real impact on the territories. In order to achieve sustainable tourism it is crucial to consider governance and management key factors of success. Through PM4ESD we have developed an international methodology for designing and managing projects with a sustainable approach and to transform ideas into concrete results and benefits”.






  1. Bonjour Silvia,

    Thanks for your interesting blog.

    Where I can find PM4ESD methodology? I already surf on their website but how to go further?



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