Green Investments for Hotel Revitalization

Green Investments for Hotel Revitalization

The webinar will be delivered via Zoom, on the 31st March at 15:30 Bangkok Time.


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard investments in the tourism sector. Announced foreign investment in the tourism sector fell from $48.5bn in 2019 to $12.6bn in 2020according to fDi intelligence from the Financial Times. This represents foreign direct investment (FDI) into tourism plummeted by 73.2% in the first half of 2020 compared with the same period of 2019. The drop in the tourism sector is among the highest, especially when comparing with the Global FDI that collapsed by 42%in 2020 according to UNCTAD. As a result, the sector has lostaround$910bn to $1.2trn in export revenues in 2020 compared with 2019 which suggests around 100–120 million direct tourism jobs at risk as the global FDI remains weak in 2021, experiencing a further decline of 5–10%.In this context, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has prioritized Investments as one of our key areas as we move forward towards the economic recovery. We believe that sustainable investments and its cross-sectorial impact has a multiplier power to strengthen strategic large regional projects, but also the promotion of investments that stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which along with tech startups are an important driver of innovation and job creation. For this purpose, we joined forces with The International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group to promote different programs to contribute to long-term sustainability and greening to support hotels including small and medium (SME) affected by COVID-19, while also providing medium-term counter-cyclical liquidity as they recover from the crisis.

The webinar will focus on “Green Investments for Hotel Revitalization” with the purpose to provide relevant insights and green finance mechanisms available through financial institutions (FIs) for a faster recovery of the tourism sector.

The webinar will invite government officials working on investments, Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs)managers, traditional investors, hotel owners with a forward-looking vision to provide liquidity and sustainability measures during COVID-19.


Natalia Bayona
Natalia Bayona
Director Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO

Natalia Bayona leads the innovation, digital transformation and investments strategy of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations specialized agency for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism worldwide.

With a diverse background on politics, destination management and business, she has become the first innovation director at UNWTO and has introduced entrepreneurship as key factor for tourism and development. Her work consists on identifying the most disruptive startups and investment projects and matching them with Member States and leading corporations. As an advocate of youth and technology, she seeks to make entrepreneurs grow for a promising future in all regions.

For 2 and a half years, Natalia has developed 7 UNWTO Startup Competitions and 4 Innovation Challenges, including the Healing Solutions for Tourism edition, with outcomes such as more than 45 million Euros in support for entrepreneurs and pilots for safe travel. Moreover, she has designed the Tourism Tech Adventures innovation forums and co-created the UNWTO Tourism Online Academy for advancing skill development in the sector in collaboration with the most pretigious universities. She has also opened the Multilateral Investment Cooperation area for tourism and is currently working on high-impact projects to #RestartTourism.

Natalia graduated in Government and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia and holds an Executive MBA from the IE Business School. Nowadays, she is part of the World Economic Forum network as a European Digital Leader and is an Eisenhower Fellow as the first Colombian on the Women Leadership Program for creating the first Tourism for Tomorrow Alliance Fund: a high-level network focused on joining public-private efforts for high-impact investments in digital education and innovation for tourism’s sustainable development and post Covid-19 recovery.

In 2017, she served as the Vice President of International Development for the Spain Startup - South Summit and organized the first South Summit Pacific Alliance, connecting the main stakeholders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

Having worked in ProColombia for ten years, she has lived in six countries where has developed strategies to boost exports, foreign investment and tourism for Colombia. Her career started in 2006 as part of the team that created the first international tourism campaign for Colombia: “Colombia, the risk is wanting to stay”, which sought to change the image of the country abroad. The successful execution of this campaign in more than 15 countries was possible thanks to her work.

Dr. Mario Hardy
Dr. Mario Hardy
CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

Dr. Hardy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association since 2014. He has over 30 years of experience in corporate development and investment in technology, coupled with several leadership roles with non-profit organizations. He is also the Managing Director of Private Family Office MAP2 | Ventures, an investment fund with a broad portfolio of technology-centric businesses in the field of FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, and GreenTech. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Capilano University in 2016 for his philanthropic work in Cambodia, where he helped develop a school for underprivileged children and his support in the development of a Community Based Tourism project in Vietnam. In 2017, Dr. Hardy graduated from the Executive Program of Singularity University in Exponential Technologies and was honoured as a “Global Ambassador of Peace Through Tourism” by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism.Dr. Hardy also holds several board advisory roles with Vynn Capital, Cirium (Aviation), Global Chamber of Business Leaders, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

For the last 8 years Sarah has been helping to develop the fDi Intelligence tools and is an expert in using data to create analysis regarding a location’s competitiveness, marketing messages and brand awareness.

Sarah is regularly invited to participate at international FDI events. Recently she presented at the MIPIM Real Estate event in Cannes, France, Annual Investment Meeting AIM Dubai and the United Nations World Tourism Organization Annual General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages from Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge, UK and a Master’s degree in International Business from the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France.

Koto Ueda
Koto Ueda
Investment Analyst with Global FIG Upstream at IFC

Koto is an Investment Analyst with Global FIG Upstream at IFC, based in Washington DC. She is working on multiple initiatives at IFC to increase the access to finance for multiple stakeholders, in tourism and also in the SME sector.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, she graduated from Columbia University and the University of Tokyo in 2016 with Masters degrees in Public Administration and Public Policy respectively, with a concentration in economic and political development. She worked for JPMorgan’s Investment Banking Division in Tokyo prior to joining IFC .

03:30 - 09:35

Welcome address

Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

03:35 – 03:45

Presentation by UNWTO on Tourism Investments trends and Challenges Insights

Natalia Bayona, Director Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO

Guiding questions:

  • What are the trends and guidelines for Tourism Foreign Direct Investment?
  • What themes will define the tourism investment recovery post COVID-19?
03:45 – 03:55

Presentation by IFC Green Investments Mechanisms for Hotels

Koto Ueda, Upstream Analyst, Financial Institutions Group (“FIG”), at International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Guiding questions:


  • What are the business cases for retrofit greening in the hotel industry?
  • What are theGreen investments mechanisms available for the hotel industry?


03:55 – 04:30

Q&A  and Closing remarks

Lingshu Liu (柳凌殊), CFA Principal Investment Officer, Financial Institutions Group (“FIG”), East Asia & Pacific at International Finance Corporation (IFC)