The COVID-19 pandemic has dented hopes and delayed the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, affecting vulnerable countries in the Global South. The current crisis is a reminder of the need for the world to work together to meet the challenges ahead of us. This is a message at the centre of the principles of South-South cooperation with fundaments of solidarity and people-to-people connectivity.
The tourism sector has been in particular affected by the pandemic, which also brings other socio-economic challenges, such as inequality, unemployment and poverty. It is crucial to explore innovative tools that may help reduce these negative impacts and share good practices of these efforts. For instance, 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. Of importance, e-commerce can play an important role in the revival of the tourism sector in Southern states. There are good practices and successful cases of Southern countries utilizing digital tools like e-commerce platforms, campaigns or marketplace to promote tourism. Digital platforms are not only increasingly utilized for sharing and updating tourism information, but also promote trade, selling of local specialties and handicrafts, and particularly the growth of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs, including women and the youth.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the social resilience capacity of one of the areas with the most economic relevance: inclusive sustainable tourism. Being one of the most affected areas, the tourism sector quickly focused on capturing the attention of national and international visitors, as well as adapting to digital platforms. Consequently, there are many Southern cities and localities that have focused on promoting responsible and inclusive sustainable tourism that not only aims at economic gains but also promotes a series of social benefits and improves basic living conditions and livelihoods of affected communities: as a source of decent employment, participation of women, broad-based inclusions and environmental sustainability, as well as protection of cultural heritage.
About the Call:
Under the South-South Cities Project initiative “South-South Cooperation for the development of sustainable tourism”, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), in collaboration with the Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), through its Office in Mexico, invites you to participate in the Call “Experiences and Practices on Inclusive Sustainable Tourism in Cities and Localities in the context of South-South and Triangular Cooperation”.
The UNOSSC-UNESCO initiative is focused on strengthening the local capacities of Southern cities and localities to promote inclusive sustainable and responsible tourism in the global digital era, with a view to recovering and reactivating the sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.
This call is addressed to officials, managers and relevant stakeholders responsible for tourism initiatives that have been conceived and implemented in cities and localities across the Global South. The call seeks to promote a positive effect at the social level and improve habitability and prosperity in cities and localities, through the framework of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 11 Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable). This is done in the context of inclusion and reduction of inequalities and extreme poverty, access to education, gender equality, access to basic water and sanitation services, environmental protection, as well as the conservation of cultural heritage.
The main objective of this call is to gather in a report a series of experiences and innovative practices of inclusive sustainable tourism in the Global South to promote South-South and triangular cooperation between cities and localities through dialogue, mutual learning, and systemic transfers of good practices, technologies, expertise and knowledge.
- Assess and evaluate the adoption of innovative strategies and good practices to support inclusive tourism recovery and building back better with digital technologies.
- Facilitate the exchange of knowledge and innovative experiences for South-South and triangular cooperation in ethical and socially responsible tourism, which explicitly responds to one or several Sustainable Development Goals.
- Generate positive synergies between cities, institutions and local communities to advance South-South and triangular cooperation and the development of sustainable tourism with a positive influence at the local level on the social well-being of cities and towns, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of building back better global strategy while considering the competing challenges and new paradigms such as adaptation to the digital era and accelerating digital connectivity and transformation..
- Provide an unprecedented source of examples and reflections on inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in Southern cities and the participation of local communities in its implementation, as well as their intervention in the value chain of sustainable tourism and governance of sustainable development at the sub-national level.
Examples of innovative experiences in socially responsible tourism should meet the following criteria:
- The scale of initiative and impact: It has had a positive impact on individuals and/or communities and proven strategic relevance as an effective way to recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic and achieve inclusive sustainable tourism and SDGs;
- Replicability and adaptability for South-South and triangular cooperation: It has the experience, plan or potential for replication in other cities and localities of the Global South. It is adaptable to similar objectives in varying situations, easy to learn and implement;
- Environmental, financial and social sustainability: It contributes to overcoming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in tourism while addressing challenges related to advancing SDGs, guaranteeing positive impact over time without compromising the ability to address the future;
- Official support: It involves a local government or municipal authority, in coordination with the national government.
- Geographic scope: Cities and localities in the Global South.
- Tourism as the axis for inclusive sustainable socio-economic recovery in Southern cities and localities;
- Tourism planning based on local needs, interests and economic priorities of national and local governments;
- Tourism as an ethical practice that provides benefits for affected communities;
- The digital landscape and the use of innovative technologies for the participation and inclusion of communities in the tourism sector;
- Tourism for the promotion of diversity: gender equality, environmental protection/safeguards, pluralism, languages, religions, cultural heritage, local histories, a culture of peace and exercise of human rights as part of inclusive sustainable tourism in Southern cities and localities.
Sustainable and responsible tourism and future urban planning, Inclusive socio-economic development, environmental sustainability and protection, cultural heritage, food security, sustainable energy solutions, decent employment, gender equality, citizen participation, education, and use of digital technologies. Other topics could include cultural tourism, creative tourism, community tourism and creative economy.
Why Answer this Call?
- To inspire and promote South-South and triangular cooperation between cities and localities in the Global South and the development and promotion of innovative practices and digital technologies within the area of inclusive sustainable tourism;
- To benefit from South-South and triangular cooperation through the exchange of knowledge, technical capacities, and strategies in inclusive sustainable tourism between Southern cities and localities that have undergone similar experiences in the Global South.
- To encourage the participation of the different communities in the value chain of the tourism industry as a key area for social development and the implementation and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals;
- To promote the good practices of Southern cities and localities in the context of sustainable tourism through the global dissemination channels and platforms of UNOSSC and UNESCO and
- To be part of the South-South Cities Clusters to exchange innovative experiences and learn about how to implement South-South and triangular cooperation and have access to pilot project opportunities.
- Registration is free and open until July 25, 2022. Please submit your initiative/project through the online form. Details on how to apply are provided in the section below.
- Between July and August, the agencies will review submissions and select the experiences that will be integrated into the report. If necessary, the coordinators will establish contact with partners who have submitted cases for additional information.
- An exchange event will take place in late July, in which selected practices will exchange knowledge and strengthen mutual learning.
For more information, please contact us through the following emails:
How to Apply:
- Download and duly fill the Submission Form Annex I from below.
- Complete the online Registration.
- Upload the Submission Form Annex I along with the online registration form.
- Submission can be made in English and Spanish.