- Modern tourism was born in the Mediterranean, in the French and Italian Riviera of XIX century, (Venice, Nice, Monaco...). Afterwards there arrived the mass tourism of sun and beach. Even now the Mediterranean is one of the main destinations and origin of tourists in the world. For the past three decades of XX century the touristic arrivals to the Mediterranean have been multiplied almost by four (and also those of worldwide tourism).
- Tourism in the Mediterranean is one third of the world tourism. Spain is the second world destination if we count the visits and the revenues. But it is not distributed in the same way throughout the area: in 2000, the 75% of visits went to France, Spain or Italy, although the destination for such travels is starting to go down and instead, in countries such as Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Malta and Cyprus it has been tripled in twenty years (1980-2000), In these latter countries, tourism is a 20% of their whole economical activity.
- The tourism coming to the Mediterranean is mainly a leisure one, whereas for example a 40% of travels to Italy are professional ones and to Israel or Morocco there are many travels to see the family or friends (48% and 39% respectively).
- With regard to the tourists from the Mediterranean, every time there is an increase, mainly from the northern zone. The 72% of French and half of the Israelis and Spanish are travelling on holidays, whereas only a 25% of Turkish and a 10% of Syrians and Egyptians do so. In Morocco, Algeria and Albany they scarcely make tourism.
- It also happens that people from the northern part of the Mediterranean are travelling more abroad, and the southern ones do it inside the same country (a 97% of the travels to Turkey and a 70% are to see family or friends, without needing neither lodgement nor touristic operators).
- Also, within the same countries where much tourism is done, there are also many inequalities. A 41% of Spaniards have never travelled abroad, and on the other hand, a 15% does it at least once a year. A 38% has never slept outside their home even a single weekend, or neither to visit their family in the last 3 or 4 years.