On 6 July 2023, the Cities Project of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) held an online exchange on creative digital heritage products to achieve sustainable tourism. The event was jointly organized by the National Association of Mexican World Heritage Cities (ANCMPM) and World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific Region under the Auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP).
The online exchange brought together officials and experts from Guangzhou of China, China Academy of Art, Oaxaca, and Campeche of Mexico, as well as representatives of ANCMPM, UNESCO Mexico and UNOSSC. Each representative showcased digital creative tools and products related to heritage preservation through engaging videos and presentations.
During the opening, WHITRAP introduced the “Global Awards for World Heritage Education Innovative Cases.” This award aims to foster international collaboration and innovative approaches to heritage education, creating a global network for such initiatives.
On digital transformation, survey results from ANCMPM highlights the economic impact of creative industries and emphasized the role of digital services, such as online positioning and digital marketing, in the conservation of intangible cultural heritage.
In Campeche, Mexico, a variety of digital products were utilized to promote the city’s cultural diversity and historical significance. These included virtual heritage tours, Augmented Reality (AR) applications, digital art installations, digital archives, and preservation.
In Guangzhou, China, the “Memory of Guangzhou” platform uncovers the city’s rich heritage and explores digital methods for protecting its historical and cultural assets through digital humanities and technology.
In Oaxaca, Mexico, digital marketing is extensively employed to promote the traditional and fusion foods, city events and activities. Digital QR codes are placed on historical landmarks to improve the experience of visitors.
The representative from the China Academy of Art presented several projects that combine cultural tourism with creative digital platform content. These initiatives incorporate gamification and heritage promotion to engage younger audiences in sustainable tourism.
During the closing remarks, the UNESCO Mexico representative commended the innovative practices showcased during the exchange and expressed a desire for further collaboration within the framework of South-South Cooperation.
About South-South Cities Clusters
The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the city and local levels. The South-South Cities Clusters are part of the South-South Galaxy virtual platform that facilitates information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on:
- COVID-19 Response and Public Health
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in Resilient Cities
- Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy
- Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development
- E-Commerce, Digitization and Smart Cities
- Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
- Waste Management, Green Cities and Renewable Energy