Tourism & the City

Online: Live Course

Tourism & the City

Hear from experts around the world about the ways in which the pandemic has caused major disruptions to the travel and tourism industries. Learn about on-going work in these areas and think about the future of leisure travel in urban areas. 


If there is one sector that has been sacrificing itself to flatten the COVID-19 curve, it is tourism. Cities specifically have experienced the collapse of an industry that had been growing for decades. How will the industry resurrect itself? What will change and what will stay the same? What is a tourist in the post-pandemic city, what do they want, and how can cities accommodate this? Are crowds still acceptable or will we see a “waterbed effect”? Will there be more “staycations” and local travel? What is the value of tourism for cities? What does this mean for urban planning? Could there be a shift from mass tourism to a city focused on quality and well-being? Will digital tourism gain ground and what does it look like? Together with our guest speakers, April Rinne and Spiros Pengas, we will explore a variety of topics around tourism and travel. We invite you to join this exciting webinar and actively be part of predicting what the post-pandemic city could look like with a turnaround of tourism.

To register for this session session, please follow this link.

This course is part of the RE:SHAPING CITIES - Post-Pandemic Perspectives Series.

ULI Learning is provided by the Urban Land Institute.


  • Housing - Multi-family
  • Retail
  • Office Buildings
  • Development

Experience Level

  • Foundational

This course is designed for beginning-level participants looking for foundational information and insights.

Career Stage

  • Beginning Real Estate Professionals

This course is designed for those considering a career in real estate, new to real estate, or changing from one industry area to another.

Course Format

The course is one hour long. It is available in a convenient on-demand format.

Harmen van Sprang

Cofounder of shareNL and the Sharing Cities Alliance

Harmen van Sprang is a forward thinker. With his firm he helps business leaders and through his foundation he empowers city leaders to adapt to an ever-changing world. Harmen made his mark with the emerging sharing economy. Now, he inspires and advises prominent private and public organizations that sense and see the need to transform towards a more social, sustainable, and shared society. Harmen is experienced in industries such as real estate, transportation, travel, retail, insurance, and logistics. In addition, he consults with cities including Washington, D.C., New York, Toronto, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Singapore, and Seoul. Harmen is a globally renowned speaker and has also co-authored an award winning business book.

Spiros Pengas

CEO, Wise Ram S.A.

Spiros graduated from the German School of Thessaloniki and studied Political Science and International Relations at the Universities of Freiburg and Munich. He then worked in the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Brussels. Returning to Thessaloniki, he took over his family business, the Galerie Dora Penga. From a local store of handmade carpets from the Middle East and Central Asia, the family business acquired a national profile with branches in Athens and Mykonos and a nationwide network of wholesale. In 2003, he founded the nonprofit “Eastern Paths” to promote cultural and educational activities, including guided trips to the countries of Asia. He has also been an editing advisor and magazine columnist of the Athens Voice’s magazine SOUL and co-owned for over five years the renowned restaurant ‘Punto Es’ in Thessaloniki. From 2002 – 2008 he has served as Program Manager and/or Director of the YMCA camp in Pelion.

Spiros Pengas has been for nine years elected member of the city council and Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Education, Tourism, E-Governance and International Relations, responsible for the extroversion policies of the City of Thessaloniki. During this tenure, he has also been member of the board of Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, Thessaloniki Film Festival and TIF Helexpo SA. He has been relentlessly speaking to various conferences, seminars and workshops around the world.

Spiros Pengas has started since September 2019 a company that activates tourism and hospitality growth, namely Wise Ram. He has already signed contracts with the Municipalities of Ioannina, Aristotelis, Kastoria and Olympos-Dion in Greece in order to promote the cities and the regions abroad. He is also teaching Destination Marketing policies at the American College Thessaloniki.

April Rinne

Advisor | Keynote Speaker | Investor | Global Citizen

Our world was in flux before the pandemic struck. Now the situation is more dire, with sectors of the economy in freefall, prospects of slow recovery and a future full of doubt. Cities and tourism are in the bullseye of these shifts, tensions and unknowns. April has been weaving a story about how to thrive amid flux, drawing on her history as a global development executive, microfinance lawyer, investor, advisor, mental health advocate and insatiable handstander. She was an early voice in the sharing economy and the future of work, advising startups and governments worldwide on responsible business models and best practices. Having worked in or visited over 100 countries, April is as comfortable at Davos as she is talking with microfinance borrowers in an urban slum. Her vision is for better business through better policies and responsible leadership, building a world that works for all.


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