Webinar: Travel South Over Cloud – South-South Cooperation on Leveraging Digitalization for the Recovery and Growth of Tourism

August 5, 2020

Also available on Bilibili

Background and Objectives

COVID-19 has been bringing significant challenges against the global economy. Some traditional sectors of the economy, exemplified by the tourism sector, has been in particular affected by the pandemic, which also brings other socio-economic challenges, such as unemployment and poverty. It is crucial to explore innovative tools that may help reduce these negative impacts and share good practices of these efforts. Digitalization has been changing the global economy in a transformative manner, both creating new forms of economy and providing innovative tools in traditional economic sectors. In the ongoing global response to COVID-19, digitalization has proved to be important and effective in both mitigating the spread of the pandemic and promoting the recovery of the economy. Particularly, digitalization has provided new opportunities and tools to link creative economy and traditional culture. Also, inspired by digitalization, E-commerce and the gastronomy sector has also been promoting tourism and boosting the local economy.

Aligned with the “Build Back Better” approach and the Cities Project of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), which support and promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development at the city level, the UNOSSC organizes this webinar on “Travel South over Cloud: South-South Cooperation on Leveraging Digitalization for the Recovery and Growth of Tourism”, inviting representatives of municipal governments, think tanks, and the private sector from the Global South, to discuss experiences, opportunities and challenges of leveraging digitalization in the tourism sector. The webinar aimed to provide a platform to share knowledge and good practices of utilizing digital tools in the tourism sector and broker partnership among the global South based upon the demands of multiple stakeholders.

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Guiding Questions for Discussion

  • Experiences and good practices of leveraging digitalization in the tourism sector, and South-South and triangular cooperation on relevant efforts
  • Opportunities and challenges of leveraging digitalization, creative economy, E-commerce, in the tourism sector
  • Local solutions and good practices in response to the COVID-19 outbreak: i) What is the impact of COVID-19 in the city tourism sector? What is the current status? ii) What were the health and socio-economic measures that have been put in place by the tourism sector?
  • Role and the potential of South-South and triangular cooperation in exchanging practices, preparedness, and mitigation efforts.
  • Mr. Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation (Opening remarks)
  • Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, Director, Institutional Relations and Partnerships, UNWTO (Opening remarks)
  • Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang Deputy Director, UNOSSC (Moderator)
  • H.E. Mr. Jinping He, Vice Governor of Henan Province, China (Panelist)
  • Ms. Emma Campbell, Director Marketing for Tourism, Fiji (Panelist)
  • Mr. Juarez Bottaro, Special Advisor to Tourism Secretariat, São Paulo City, Brazil (Panelist)
  • Mr. Jimin Song, Vice-Mayor, Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, China (Panelist)
  • Mr. Izzatbek Djuraev, First Deputy Director, Department for Tourism Department of Tashkent City, Uzbekistan (Panelist)
  • Dr. Rui Song, Director of Research Centre of Tourism, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Discussants)
  • Mr. Jorge Ortega, Director General of the National Association of Mexican World Heritage Cities (Discussants)