Connective Cities is a joint venture between the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Service Agency Communities in One World (a division of Engagement Global) designed to improve cooperation among urban practitioners at a global level.
Municipalities involved have to come up with funding projects
The Connective Cities Program of the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) has asked IDI and Frontline Development Solutions, LLC to reach out and work with the municipalities across six countries, namely, Botswana, Cape Verde, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Romania. The objective of the proposed activity is to support municipal governments in selected countries to work towards the recovery of their tourism sectors by finding innovative solutions that are specific and doable, jointly with the private sector tourism entrepreneurs. It Is expected that at the end of the process, the municipalities are able to produce specific funding proposals to address the post COVID -19 recovery process in the tourism sector while benefiting from the International best practices.
Three key areas are going to be detailed in the process:
Impact of COVID-19 on tourism sector and businesses,
Response to covid-19 by public and private sectors for recovery, and
Opportunities for leading recovery efforts to identify potential projects from individual constituencies.
As a result, the kick-off event on September 15 engaged several urban specialists within the tourism industry to work on COVID-19 tourism recovery through peer learning while also preparing potential proposals for fund raising.
Experienced tourism professionals among the participants
Participating municipalities were Namobuddha & Ghodaghodi from Nepal, Buziaș from Romania, Freetown from Sierra Leone, Gaborone from Botswana, Praia from Cape Verde and Kampala from Uganda. The City of Buziaș, in fact, was a particular case for which GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) has asked for help from the International Development Institute (IDI), thus creating the premises for establishing several interviews with local specialists regarding the problems encountered by the Romanian tourism industry as well as that of the City of Buziaș.
The speakers included prolific tourism professionals such as Mr. Barry Biggar, CEO with the Fairfax County in Viriginia, USA, who emphasized the idea of attracting “new money” to the local toursim scene, citing the need of about 40 million dollars in the form of grants and other funding schemes to be injected into the Fairfax mobility area.
Other speakers presented thorough research on the same subject, among these participants being renowned specialists such as Ms. Kelly Bricker, Professor of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah, Mr. Paul Pio – Manager within the Short Haul Markets at the Vanuatu Tourism Office, as well as Mr. Prachanda Man Shrestha – former CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board.
However, a quick look upon the participants can not end without naming two seasoned professionals in the field, Mr. Parashu Ram Nepal, founder of the International Development Institute and Mr. Suman Raj Timsina, also a notable member of the IDI and a former Vice President of Bank of America.
As for Romania, the country was represented by both Ovidiu Slimac, International Development Institute (IDI) Point of Contact for The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supported research project „Strengthening the partnership between Local Cities and Tourism Industry” in Romania and Cezar Iulian Armașu, Director of the Romanian Patronage Magazine.