Natalia Bayona


Director of the Innovation, Education and Investments Department World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Natalia Bayona leads the innovation, education and investment strategy within the UNWTO, the UN specialised agency to promote a universally responsible, sustainable tourism for all.

She is the first innovation director in the UNWTO and has introduced entrepreneurship and education as key factors for tourism and development. She has positioned the UNWTO as a reference for innovation within the United Nations system, as registered in the UN 2020 Mapping of Innovation, Data and Digital Capacities.

She identifies the most disruptive start-ups and investment projects and connects them with the State members and international corporations. As a defender of youth and technology, she promotes growth of new entrepreneurs to ensure a promising future in all regions. Over the last 3 years, Natalia has developed 7 UNWTO Start-up Competitions and 6 Innovation Challenges gathering altogether more than 70 million dollars in aid for young entrepreneurs and pilot projects for safe travel. She has designed the innovation conferences Tourism Tech Adventures and co-created the UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, a pioneer platform to develop abilities in alliance with the best universities around the world such as IE University, Cornell University or Hong Kong Polytechnic University, currently with more than 10.000 students. She has created the UNWTO technical committee for on-line education in tourism, where she is also secretary making education to remain as a priority in the world agenda.

She has opened the tourism investors multilateral cooperation area with a network of more than 290 active investors interested in tourism and is currently working in high impact projects to reactive tourism, including those specialised in green investment in collaboration with the World Bank. She is involved, as member-coordinator, in the world crisis committee for tourism, where all state members of UNWTO, UN agencies and private sector associations -IATA, ACI, CLIA, among others- meet to discuss actions to face current challenges. From here, Natalia has led the UNWTO Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge and the UNWTO Jobs Factory as specific projects to support destinations and employment.

Natalia has a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations in the Externado University of Colombia and an executive MBA from IE Business School. She is part of the World Economic Forum network (WEF) as European digital leader and is the first Colombian woman to belong to the Eisenhower Fellow at the Women Leadership Programme to create the first Tourism for Tomorrow Alliance Programme: a high level network focused in public-private agreements to make high impact investments in digitalization and innovation for sustainable development of tourism and for its recovery after Covid-19. In addition, she enjoys to share her knowledge as lecturer in several universities such as Harvard, Externado and Bilkent as well as in public schools in Colombia.

In 2017 she as International Development Vice-president of Spain Startup – South Summit, organized by the first South Summit of the Pacific Alliance to connect stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

After 10 years’ experience in ProColombia, she lived in 6 countries where she developed strategies to increase exports, foreign investment and tourism for Colombia. Staring in 2006, she was part of the team that created the first international tourism advertising campaign “Colombia, the risk is that you want to stay”, that pursued an image change of the country abroad. She managed to campaign in mora than 15 countries.



Slide Founder of Conscious.
United Kingdom
Spenceley Independent consultant Papua New Guinea
Co-founder & CEO -LINE TRAVEL jp & Trip101 Japon
Natalia Bayona Innovation, Education and Investments Department UNWTO Rogerio Basso Tourism leader in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for IDB Invest BID Invest Simone Venturini
Responsible Tourism Advisor of the Venice Commune Italia
David G Simmons President of the EarthCheck Global Research Institute New Zealand


Organizing committee

Conferencista 04 Natalia Bayona
Conferencista 04 Natalia Bayona
Conferencista 04 Natalia Bayona
Conferencista 04 Natalia Bayona
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