This is the first time the UN has founded a day dedicated to travel since Tourism Day was established 20 years ago
Following months of campaigning, high level discussions and partnerships, 17 February has officially been declared Global Tourism Resilience Day.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution, which was initiated by the Jamaican government in association with the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council, a division of Connecting Travel's parent company Jacobs Media Group, with the support of more than 90 countries.
Following a presentation at the UNGA’s 58th Plenary meeting in New York, Jamaican minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett highlighted the importance of the declaration, saying: “Today’s announcement will in fact signal to the world to put aside one day, 17 February, every year to not just observe but to create a greater level of consciousness around resilience.
"The pandemic has shown us that global disruptions will continue, so there will be more epidemics, pandemics and earthquakes like the one in Turkey this week. The importance of this day is therefore to encourage capacity-building for the world to be better able to respond to these global disruptions and recover quickly.”
One of the world’s major economic sectors, in 2019 tourism accounted for 7% of global trade and one in 10 jobs. However, recent history has shown that tourism remains one of the most vulnerable industries, evident in the negative impact of climatic events, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, pandemics and economic recessions.
Bartlett added: “If we are to future-proof the sustainability of tourism, now is the time to give greater consideration for building resilience, and it's especially critical for tourism dependent countries like Jamaica, whose economic livelihood rests on the survival of this industry. This is indeed a huge step in coalescing global support every year on this important matter and I thank all our stakeholders and partners who worked to make this happen.”
The Global Tourism Resilience Centre (GTRCMC), headquartered in Kingston, has been a major driver in calls for capacity building in tourism resilience. Born out of the Montego Bay Declaration, the GTRCMC was established to address these inevitable disruptions through preparedness, management and recovery strategies.
For more information, visit resiliencecouncil.com