The “Ecotourism Club in Spain” and the development of Ecotourism in Basque Country (Euskadi). Theme: Urban resilience & transformation

Activity embedded in the UNIC Generations’ Lab (BIP) in the framework of the session entitled Pandemic and tourism industry: An opportunity to building-back-better

Virtual Place


Start: 20.05.2022
End: 20.05.2022


During XIV and XX centuries, the growth of Bilbao was associated with industry (the iron and steel industry in particular) and ship-buildings. A big crisis of the sector was linked to the 1973 Oil Crisis and Economic Recession. The industry was damaged as a result of the economic crisis but a huge rehabilitation plan was designed to revamp the local (and regional) economy and revitalize Bilbao as a city of services. The city becomes the symbol of post-industrial city that has been able to generate a transformation to become a destination for cultural and responsible forms of tourism. Another big crisis has been the COVID-19-related crisis. It has been a challenge that allowed Bilbao and other post-industrial areas of the Basque Country (Euskadi) to better integrate with another typical form of tourism that is now characterizing this region, the ecotourism. This process was facilitated by the fact that the Basque Country (Euskadi) was the first Autonomous Community to join the “Ecotourism Club in Spain” and this happened before the COVID19 pandemic. As result, this destination has the opportunity to facilitate the recovery of the tourism industry throughout a BBB approach able to promote sustainable forms of tourism and creating a more resilient tourism destination.

  • Specific challenge/topic 1) Which are the main characteristics of a successful BBB (Building Back Better) approach taking into consideration the decision to promote more sustainable forms of tourism to recover the tourism industry after the COVID-19 pandemic? 2) Focusing on the Basque Country (Euskadi), how can we improve the current tourism recovery process to build a more sustainable and resilient tourism destination? Thinking to additional worldwide sustainable tourism-related projects, can we identify best practices and benchmark from them? 3) Could you re-produce the Basque Country experience in your territory? Please, identify challenges and potential strengthens. Knowledge transfer. Detailed analysis of the Bilbao case study. Identification of the challenges and the most effective adopted solutions.

  • Program 15:00- 15:05 General opening and introduction of the session

15:05- 15:35 Presentation of the case study

15:35- 15:45 analysis of the theoretical background on crisis & disaster management

15:45- 16:00 Discussion among participants on the challenges and the solutions adopted in the case study

Session chaired by Giuseppe Aliperti - Assistant Professor at University of Deusto

Total participants: 4

Total students: 3

Total Staff members: 1

  • Knowledge transfer.
  • Detailed analysis of the Bilbao case study.
  • Identification of the challenges and the most effective adopted solutions


UNIC CityLabs


Sustainable tourism

Type of Case




Organizing unic universities

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