World Heritage and tourism: Tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis

World Heritage and tourism: Tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis

8 Dicembre 2020 Off Di Direzione Rivista Siti Unesco

The 11th Seminar on “World Heritage and tourism: Tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis” of the UNESCO Chair “Culture, Tourism, Development” Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University in collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage Centre will occur on the 14th of December 2020. 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt international travel and forces the closure of World Heritage sites around the globe. The second wave of infections in the Northern Hemisphere is preventing tourism recovery and UNWTO is expecting an overall 70% decline in international arrivals for 2020. While the release and distribution of vaccines may be imminent, it will be some time before confidence is restored and visitation to World Heritage sites returns to pre-COVID levels. The loss in visitor revenue has been crippling for many heritage sites, which have been forced to make cuts to human resources, research, maintenance and restoration works as a result. This seminar will bring together World Heritage site managers to discuss how they are coping with the uncertainty and strategies striving to remain open and measures they are undertaking to build back stronger and more resilient as the crisis abates.

The seminar will look at emerging trends to see how these can be adapted for long term sustainability. With people confined to their homes for long periods, there has been a surge in the demand for virtual and digital heritage experiences, an increased desire for nature-based experiences and a renewed interest in rediscovering local heritage. This has created opportunities for heritage sites to reconnect with local communities and attract new audiences virtually from around the world.

The panel sessions will focus on immediate responses and strategies for handling the crisis, as well as long-term impacts on World Heritage and the innovative management responses needed to ensure a more sustainable recovery.

The first panel will focus on how COVID-19 has impacted tourism in World Heritage cities and good practices that have been developed in response. The second panel will focus on how natural and cultural sites are handling the crisis and building resilience for the post-COVID scenario. MORE INFO >>