Accelerating Green Investments in Tourism for Sustainable Development

in partnership with UNWTO
Session Type
Room number
Hall 4 Room 13
Contact Email
19 October 2023
10:30 - 12:30 Abu Dhabi

Tourism accounted for about four per cent of the global economy before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector suffered large losses during 2020–2021. Capital investment, including foreign direct investment, also dropped sharply. Since then, global tourism has been gathering pace, bouncing back slowly but steadily to the pre-pandemic level. 

Investment plays an important role in the recovery of global tourism and needs to contribute more to its greener and more sustainable future. The sector is highly vulnerable to climate change and at the same time leads to significant emissions of greenhouse gases. Looking into the future, the need to reduce emissions provides a significant investment opportunity in green buildings for hotels, resorts and restaurants. In addition, tourism offers investment opportunities related to new solutions and technologies to decarbonize the sector and to ensure climate resilient infrastructure through adaptation solutions. Tackling all these opportunities will help bridge the $4 trillion annual investment gap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the developing world. 

Against this backdrop, UNCTAD and UNWTO join hands in promoting green investments in the global tourism industry and supporting low carbon and climate resilient tourism. The session brings together the investment and tourism communities, aiming at effective deliberation on solutions to unlock finance, accelerate green investments, promote climate action in tourism and contribute to sustainable development. 

Session themes:

  • How can green financial and investment mechanisms help accelerate the sustainable transformation of the hospitality sector? 
  • How can private investors and policy makers be motivated to support increased investment in greening the tourism sector? 
  • How can the use of new and green technologies in tourism be encouraged in order to support global climate commitments and targets? 
  • How can innovation be stimulated in order to generate new technologies and business models to facilitate the emergence of new climate solutions in tourism? 
  • What can be done to unlock finance for green investments and startups in tourism? 


Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD and Lead, UNCTAD World Investment Forum
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, ClimateTrade
Director, Plug and Play
Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & Africa at Radisson Hotel Group
Acting Director, Property & Tourism, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Chief Executive Officer, Minor International
Managing Director, Co-Head of Asset Management, ThirdWay Partners
Regional Manager, Innovation, Education and Investments, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Chief, Responsible Investment and Partnership Initiatives, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD


Broadcaster, Journalist and Award-winning Author