Premiered on:
4 Apr 2022 (Monday)
3:00–4:30 p.m. (GMT+8) (Manila)
Microsoft Teams Meeting

Building Forward Better: Tourism in Post-COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unprecedented devastation on tourism, upon which economy of many of ADB’s developing member countries heavily depend. On the other hand, tourism in the region is rapidly transforming, with new demands on health and safety protocols. There is now a unique window of opportunity to assess the lessons and put in place reforms that enable tourism to contribute to more green, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development pathways. The webinar shared the findings from ADB's two recent studies on Sustainable Tourism After COVID-19: Insights and Recommendations for Asia and the Pacific and COVID-19 and the Future of Tourism in Asia and the Pacific, reflected on their operational relevance, and discussed operational challenges and opportunities in project context.

Welcome Remarks
Cyn-Young Park Director, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

Cyn-Young Park is Director of Regional Cooperation and Integration in the Economics Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). During her progressive career within ADB, she has been a main author and contributor to ADB’s major publications including Asian Development Outlook (ADB’s flagship publication), Asia Capital Markets Monitor, Asia Economic Monitor, Asia Bond Monitor, and ADB Country Diagnostic Study Series. She has also participated in various global and regional forums including the G20 Development Working Group, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN+3, Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM). She has written and lectured extensively about the Asian economy and financial markets. Her work has been published in peer reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Futures Markets, the Review of Income and Wealth, and the World Economy.

Prior to joining the ADB, she served as Economist (1999–2002) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where she contributed to the OECD Economic Outlook. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from Seoul National University.

Sustainable Tourism after COVID-19: Insights and Recommendations for Asia and the Pacific
Matthias Helble Scientist and Senior Economist, World Health Organization
Bio Presentation

Matthias’ research interests include health, international trade, and development economics. Matthias’ research has appeared in flagship publications of international organizations as well as in books and scientific journals. He has co–edited eleven books, including with Oxford University Press. His work includes affiliations with the World Health Organization, Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute, World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the UN. Matthias holds graduate degrees in economics from the University of Tübingen and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his PhD in health economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (University of Geneva) and was a research fellow at Yale University.

Future of Tourism in Asia and the Pacific
Sanchita Basu Das Economist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank
Bio Presentation

Sanchita Basu Das is an economist at the Regional Cooperation and Integration Division of the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank ADB. She contributes to the division’s flagship publication, namely the Asian Economic Integration Report, and other knowledge products. She also supports the ASEAN regional forum. Her core research interests include regional cooperation and initiatives related to them, such as trade, logistics, industrial corridors, tourism, digital economy, institutions, and others. Sanchita joined ADB in November 2018 and served as an economist in the South Asia Department, processing loans/grants, implementing technical assistance projects and leading operationally relevant analytical studies.

Prior to joining ADB, Sanchita was the lead researcher for economic affairs at the ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. She was concurrently a fellow of the Regional Economic Studies Program, coordinator of Singapore APEC Studies Centre and a co–editor of Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (JSEAE), all housed under the same institute. Sanchita has published in international journals including the Singapore Economic Review, Journal of World Trade and Asia Pacific Economic Literature, authored/edited books and book chapters, and wrote for media. Sanchita earned her PhD in international political economy from Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, and her masters in economics and business management from the University of Delhi and the National University of Singapore, respectively.

Panel Discussion:
Reflecting on operational relevance of tourism reports and discussing operational challenges and opportunities in project context
Ronald Antonio Butiong Chief of Regional Cooperation and Integration Thematic Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

Ronald Antonio Butiong oversees and coordinates ADB’s overall regional cooperation and integration (RCI) operations by providing relevant strategic and technical advice. He develops and maintains thematic policies, strategies, operational plans, and directional papers to guide bankwide regional cooperation and integration work and ensures alignment with ADB’s Strategy 2030.

Mr. Butiong has over 25 years of professional experience working on regional cooperation and integration and country programming. He joined ADB in February 2004 as a Programs Specialist - Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in the former Mekong Department. He progressed to Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist and GMS Unit Head, Southeast Asia Department (SERD) in June 2008, and in February 2010, transferred to the Central and West Asia Department (CWRD) to head the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Unit. He was promoted to IS6 in CWRD in December 2010, and in October 2012, he was transferred to South Asia Department (SARD) to head the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Unit. In April 2016, he was promoted to the position of Director of the Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division (SARC), SARD.

Mr. Butiong was a consultant responsible for various technical assistance projects promoting subregional cooperation in ADB’s developing member countries. He was Assistant Vice President and Head of Investments of the Trust Banking Group of the erstwhile Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) in the Philippines.

Mr. Butiong holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Louisiana State University, United States, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from De La Salle University, Philippines in 1985. He also holds a Certificate in FEBTC-Executive Development Program from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines.

Sandra Carvão Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Sandra Carvão is Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since June 2018. Before that, she was Chief of Communications and Publications for 8 years until May 2018 where she was responsible for UNWTO’s strategic positioning.

Prior to this post, Sandra was Deputy Chief at UNWTO’s Market Trends, Competitiveness and Trade in Tourism Services Department between 2007 and 2010. During this period, Sandra coordinated the Tourism Resilience Committee created by UNWTO to address the impacts of the global economic crisis 2008–2009 on tourism. Prior to joining UNWTO in 2003, Sandra held a position as market manager in the Portuguese National Tourist Office in Lisbon. Sandra has a degree in International Relations, Economics Branch, by the Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas/Universidade Técnica de Lisboa and a postgraduate degree in Marketing by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Mark Bezuijen Principal Environment Specialist, Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Mark Bezuijen has worked on biodiversity conservation, protected area management, and environmental impact assessment in Asia and Australia for over 20 years. Key areas of work currently include the piloting and design of sustainable tourism projects in Mongolia, and overseeing environmental safeguards for a range of natural resource projects in the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia.

Steven Schipani Principal Tourism Industry Specialist, Urban Development & Water Division, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Steven Schipani is a Principal Tourism Industry Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, where he has been leading the formulation and administration of regional tourism projects and technical assistance since 2010. Steven has also worked across ADB supporting diagnostic studies and strategic tourism planning, as well as tourism management capacity building programs for public officials and other tourism industry stakeholders. He has more than 20 years of experience with tourism-related operations, mainly in Southeast Asia. Steven started his career in international development as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand (1994–1996).

Ashish Narain Principal Economist, Social Sectors & Public Sector Management Division, Pacific Department, Asian Development Bank

Ashish Narain is a Principal Economist with the Pacific Department of Asian Development Bank. Prior to this he was with the World Bank since 2004, and worked extensively in South Asia and Southern Africa. His main interests are in issues related to regional integration, trade, private sector development and growth. Ashish holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters from the Delhi School of Economics.

Concluding Remarks
Manoj Sharma Chief of Urban Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

Manoj Sharma is leading ADB’s efforts on ‘Making Cities More Livable’ following a cross-sector and cross-thematic approach of providing integrated solutions. Manoj has 30 years of experience working with ADB and the Government of India. He has led multi-sector teams for designing and implementing complex and innovative projects for urban infrastructure and economic corridors development in several economies in Asia. Manoj has also supported the strategic development of the urban, water, and industrial sectors at ADB and the economies in Asia.

Yuebin Zhang Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Thematic Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

Yuebin Zhang has over 30 years of experience in development and poverty reduction, and has been deeply involved in regional cooperation and integration since 2003. He joined ADB in 2006 and has worked in EARD, ERCD and SDCC. He is now Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist in the Regional Cooperation and Integration Thematic Group of SDCC. Before joining ADB, Mr. Zhang had worked in the International Department of the PRC’s Ministry of Finance responsible for overseeing ADB’s and World Bank’s operations in the PRC. He also served as Advisor to PRC’s Executive Director at the World Bank Group; and worked in International Finance Corporation as Senior Investment Officer.