The Power of Culture and Creativity in Tourism Recovery
The shared values and close ties between tourism and culture stakeholders means both sectors can work together to ensure inclusive access to heritage, as countries around the world recover from the pandemic. In recognition of this mutually reinforcing relationship, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UNESCO have collaborated to produce a set of new guidelines focusing on the responsible restart of cultural tourism.
Statistics to Restart Tourism in the Caribbean
From the need for enhanced political engagement to developing relevant expertise, the World Tourism Organization, jointly with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, have united their Members in the Caribbean to address the key challenges they face in making effective use of statistics to drive the restart of their tourism sectors.
"The year 2020 taught us that the words innovation, sustainability and inclusion must be part of the tourism model that we must promote when we can travel proactively again”- Natalia Bayona, Director, Innovation, Education and investments.
The first two months of the year were quite active for UNWTO’s Innovation, Education and Investment department, but this is just a small sampling of all the activities and initiatives that will take place this 2021 aimed at continuing to maintain Innovation, Education and Investments as the central focus in the recovery of the sector.
- SDG Competition: The winners of the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Global Startup Competition’ were announced. A total of 25 startups from 18 countries will be rewarded with mentoring programmes from experts such as Amadeus, Google, IE University and Far Co and support offered by Mastercard and ClarkeModet. In addition, they will participate in an event organized by Wakalua within the framework of FITUR, where they can present their proposals. Furthermore, the winning startups will be invited to pitch their proposals again at the ‘Tourism Tech Adventures (TTA)’ innovation forum, which will take place in Qatar with the help of our allies Qatar Airways and the Qatar National Tourism Council.
- Innovation Toolkit: The “Innovation Toolkit - Alliances to Achieve the SDGs” online session was held in conjunction with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). The event included the participation of the Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Jafar Javar, Director of UNSSC, Simona Petrova, Secretary of the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB), Ms. Rita Marques Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, and Julián Guerrero Orozco, Vice-Minister of Tourism of Colombia, among other authorities, also from the private sector, who discussed the importance and benefits of establishing key alliances for the development of strategies that promote innovation.
- #HospitalityChallengePitch: In 2020 “The Hospitality Challenge: Supporting the Hospitality Talents of Tomorrow” was launched. Now, the 30 finalists who will receive full scholarships for Bachelor’s or Master’s degree courses in 30 different hospitality programmes have been announced and in March 2021 the winning projects will be decided. For this, Sommet Education and UNWTO teamed up again to launch the #HospitalityChallengePitch, a space comprising 4 online sessions, where the 30 finalists had the opportunity to present their proposals to attract seed capital to promote their initiatives in front of a select jury of representatives from the UNWTO as well as Sommet Education, Hilton, easyHotel Plc, Dorchester, Traveler Made, HoCoSo among others. In addition to listening to the contestants’ proposals, the invited panellists addressed the issue of “what’s next” in terms of jobs and education; safety and hospitality experience, income and productivity, and waste reduction and sustainability. The 4 virtual sessions had more than 200+ simultaneous live viewers and more than 1000 views in subsequent videos.
- CAST: In collaboration with the Creative Business Network, we will offer an Investment Readiness Workshop (CAST) to support those seeking seed funding or the first round of funding for their startups in countries participating the EU’s COSME programme. Deadline for submission of applications: 15 March 2021. Accepted applications will be announced on 18 March 2021. Click to apply.
- STB Accelerator Programme: In collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), we continue to promote technology startups globally. We are looking for B2B companies that are developing solutions to #RestartTourism. Join us to be eligible for pilot funding and the chance to meet with the top industry players in Singapore. Application submission deadline: 15 March 2021. link here.