Presentations: Tourism and COVID-19

Tools and resources for nature-based tourism, 2nd edition
Doing it better: Resources for the resilient recovery of nature-based tourism, World Bank Global wildlife Program webinar, 13 December 2022

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This was a presentation made, with Wendy Li of the World Bank, to introduce a launch event on the 2nd edition of ‘Tools and resources for nature-based tourism.’ The event also featured presentations by:

  • Daniel Turner (ANIMONDIAL)
  • Eliza Northrup (World Resources Institute)
  • Chloe King (Solimar International)
  • Carol Ritchie (EUROPARC Federation)

Access the presentation or the recording of the event.

Sharing benefits from tourism in protected areas with local communities: Options, challenges and recommendations
Strengthening Sharing of Benefits from Tourism with Local Communities, World Bank virtual event, 27 July 2022

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This was a presentation made as part of a World Bank event on ‘Strengthening sharing of benefits from tourism with local communities’, which also featured presentations by:

  • Vanice Mirembe Daawa, Uganda Wildlife Authority
  • Phonesuck Inthavong, Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park, Lao PDR
  • Mayra Castellanos, Cerro Azul, Colombia
  • William Alexander Rojas Melendez, Cerro Azul Puerta de Chiribiquete, Colombia
  • Adam Thalhath, Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
  • Shaha Hashim, Blue Marine Foundation
Event Presentation Slide
This symposium, co-sponsored by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Community Resources and Development, located in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, brought together global experts to address some of these challenges and provide examples of solution-oriented outcomes, in the wake of IUCN’s World Conservation Congress 2021. Recordings from the two events in the ‘Crisis Response and Recovery: Nature-Based Tourism, Biodiversity, and Livelihoods’ virtual event are freely available online here.

Event 1, Day 1

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  • Session 1: Biodiversity Conservation Financing through Sustainable Nature-Based Tourism – watch here
  • Session 2: Visitors Count: Establishing the Economic Impacts of Tourism in Protected Areas – watch here
  • Session 3: Sustainable Livelihoods and Human Health through Tourism – watch here

Entire recording of Event 1: click here

Event 2, Day 2

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  • Session 4: Visitation and Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Areas in Light of COVID-19 – watch here
  • Session 5: The Resurgence of Overtourism in Protected Areas in Crisis Recovery – watch here
  • Session 6: Sustainable Tourism Blueprints and Solutions – watch here

Recording of Event 2: click here

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COVID-19 and tourism in developing countries: Needs, challenges & options
2021 ITB Convention, Berlin, ITB Tourism for Sustainable Tourism Track, 12 March 2021

This presentation was made at the ITB Berlin Now on 12 March 2021, as part of the BMZ panel session Tourism for Sustainable Development. It covered the following issues:
1. How has the tourism industry been affected by COVID-19?
2. What does it mean for the tourism sector and vulnerable groups?
3. What are the needs and challenges to build back better tourism?
4. How can this be achieved?

Setting the scene: Impacts of the pandemic on the tourism sector and building back greener
UNEP’s online side event of the 26th Meeting of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy, 9 November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest, very powerful wake-up call about the links between environment, economy and human wellbeing. The tourism sector is one of those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  How to rebuild tourism so that it supports the shift towards more resilient and sustainable communities?

With this question in mind, UNEP brought together more than 350 participants from the wider European region and other parts of the world to discuss how to build back greener by applying principles of circularity, digitalization, innovation and cooperation. Tourism experts, representatives of  European governments, tourism institutions and international organisations, NGOs,  as well as academia shared their ideas and experiences on opportunities and challenges for a more sustainable tourism industry in a post-COVID scenario. The event provided an overview of the  impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and examples of aligning recovery plans and investments with a transition that meets the objectives of health and safety, sustainability, climate action and biodiversity protection. The speakers highlighted the importance of policy coherence and public-private partnerships, as well as innovation through digital transformation. Many solutions are available and can be efficiently used through close collaboration and coordination among destinations, businesses, the local communities, visitors, policy makers, as well as investors

Panel debate: Protected areas in a post-COVID world
GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference: One World – One Health, DIE, German Development Institute, 28 October 2020
This session aimed to discuss the potential new challenges arising from the COVID 19 pandemic for protected areas, lessons learned and the way forward in the form of a digital roundtable with participants from diverse backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints. There was a multifaceted discussion of highly complex political questions helping to draw action-oriented conclusions to inform protected areas discussions at the IUCN World Conservation Congress and CBD COP 15.  Based on the debate and suggested policy responses, a policy paper will be prepared for further discussion.

Protected areas and tourism: Building back better from COVID-19
The active role of protected areas for the restarting of the country / Il ruolo attivo delle aree protette per la ripartenza del paese, Urbanpromo Green 2020, 7 September 2020

Protected natural areas are an essential resource for health and well-being and are a strategic resource for overcoming the fragility of the territory as a defense and an opportunity for the country to restart. The conference will discuss with Federparchi and some Italian natural parks how the paradigms of nature conservation and sustainable territorial planning are essential in light of the changes that have occurred with the Covid-19 emergency. Tourism, an integrated policy of conservation and development and enhancement of the landscape, is an opportunity for the revitalization of natural parks and protected areas and of the territory in different contexts, both marginal and urban.

Access recording here (in Italian)


The COVID-19 pandemic impact on nature based tourism
Global Environment Facility Task Force meeting, 1 September 2020

This presentation was made to the Global Environment Facility’s COVID-19 Response Task Force on 1 September 2020. This Task Force session aimed to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on nature tourism, with a focus on Africa. I was invited to speak about impacts globally, and in Africa, as context for their discussions. The video also shares information about how tourism sectors are emerging, and resources to guide doing so safely, and sustainably.

PA Webinar
Increasing financial resiliency for PAs and KBAs: Plans and programs during and post pandemic
UNDP Biofin webinar, 1 August 2020
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The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on nature-based tourism
Building a resilient tourism sector in SADC Transfrontier Conservation areas, 18 August 2020
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Panel debate: Future of tourism in natural areas – impact, governance, financing
OECD Trento Centre and TSM webinar, 3 July 2020
Webinar on “The future of tourism in natural areas – Impact, governance, financing2 organised by the OECD Trento Centre and tsm – Trentino School of Management
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Panel Debate: Tourism and COVID-19
World Trade Organization webinar, 11 June 2020

Tourism is the backbone of many developing world economies, and the sector is being drastically affected by COVID-19. How can countries weather and recover this crisis? What lessons can we take from the past?

• Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer, Rwanda Development Board
• Zoritsa Urosevic, Director, Institutional Relations and Partnerships Department, Special Representative to the United Nations in Geneva – World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
• Anna Spenceley, Chair of IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group and Board Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

• Brendan Vickers, Adviser and Head of Section in the International Trade Policy Section, Commonwealth Secretariat

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Panel debate: Tripadvisor Talk on the perception of how sustainability and sustainable tourism evolve after COVID-19
Tripadvisor Talk, 29 May 2020

Tripadvisor Talk is a weekly panel dialogue that invites leaders within the travel and hospitality industry to discuss, understand, and share insights into the world of travel in the post-COVID-19 era. We know people will travel again. So let’s talk about how, when, and where.

Access recording here