The tourism industry was estimated to become the largest ocean economy by 2030 (OECD), but COVID-19 severely impacted all parts of the tourism value chain. Oceans and coasts are at the heart of tourism, as 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas. 183 countries have coastlines, 37% of the world’s population live in coastal communities and most commodities extracted from the ocean come from coastal regions (UNWTO, 2014). The new realities have awakened a new approach to tourism, particularly from island and coastal nations.

In 2020 the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) set a goal of a sustainable tourism economy by 2030: “Coastal and ocean-based tourism is sustainable, resilient, addresses climate change, reduces pollution, supports ecosystem regeneration and biodiversity conservation and invests in local jobs and communities.” This guidance has been taken by government and industry in the approach to a recovery of the tourism sector. The Tourism Action Coalition for a Sustainable Ocean was created in response to the Ocean Panel's call to action and will serve as a knowledge hub and action platform to drive sustainable coastal and ocean-based tourism.

This session will bring together representatives of the Ocean Panel countries, alongside high-level representatives from the Tourism Action Coalition for a Sustainable Ocean to address how the public and private sectors are moving toward a sustainable blue tourism economy that builds a resilient future for tourism destinations and improves the well-being of local communities.

We invite tourism stakeholders and coastal and ocean communities to join this webinar. The event promises to showcase the actions that are being taken by countries and the tourism industry to recover and rebuild after the pandemic. These actions can provide guidance in building resilience to face other health and environmental crises across sectors.


  • Jamie Sweeting, CEO, Planeterra (moderator)
  • Gloria Fluxa Thienemann, Vice-Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts
  • Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten Group
  • Cesar Daniel Gonzalez Madruga, General Director, SECTUR Mexico
  • Louise Twining-Ward, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, The World Bank
  • Rita Marques, Secretary of State of Tourism, Portugal (keynote)