Before the global pandemic, tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people. In 2019, the global pandemic brought tourism to a standstill, highlighting the economic dependency of coastal states, and making the flaws of the traditional model for coastal and marine tourism visible.

As the world begins to recover and reopen, all destinations will be faced with a choice. Either return to business as usual or use this moment as an opportunity to invest in a more sustainable model of coastal and marine tourism that focuses on regeneration and resilience to ensure the long-term environmental, economic and cultural well-being of coastal and island nations.

Despite extreme economic hardship, many inspiring stories have emerged over the past few years. Destinations have been able to innovate and offer new opportunities for local communities, reinvest in the natural assets that the tourism economy relies upon and create avenues for diversification to provide the foundation for a strong, sustainable and resilient tourism sector for the future.

This event will bring together the governments of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) and leading global tourism experts to discuss the findings of a new special report: Opportunities for Transforming Coastal and Marine Tourism: Towards Sustainability, Regeneration and Resilience; and a series of over 40 Expert Perspectives from global leaders across industry, academia, non-profit and international agencies.


  • Kristian Teleki, Global Director, Ocean Program, World Resources Institute and Head of Secretariat to the Ocean Panel

Keynote Speaker

  • Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister for Tourism, Jamaica


  • H.E. Najib Balala, Minister for Tourism, Kenya
  • Andrew Rhodes, Special Envoy for Oceans attached to the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Mexico
  • Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director, United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • Gloria Fluxà Thienemann, Vice-chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar
  • Valerie Hickey, Global Director, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice, World Bank
  • Sam Teicher, Co-founder, Coral Vita
  • Graeme Jackson, Head of Strategic Partnerships, The Travel Foundation


Cover image credit: Credit: Ariph Rasheed / Ocean Image Bank