UN Declares February 17 Global Tourism Resilience Day

UN Declares February 17 Global Tourism Resilience Day

The Kingston, Jamaica-based Global Tourism Resilience Centre (GTRCMC) has been a major driver in calls for capacity building in tourism resilience. (photo via GummyBone / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted Jamaica’s resolution to designate and declare the first-ever Global Tourism Resilience Day to encourage capacity building in tourism resilience.

Global Tourism Resilience Day, which had support from not only Jamaica but more than 90 countries around the world, will now be recognized every year on February 17.

“This announcement will in fact signal to the world to put aside one day, February 17, every year to not just observe but to create a greater level of consciousness around resilience,” Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said following a presentation at the UNGA’s 58th Plenary meeting in New York on Monday. “The pandemic has shown us that global disruptions will continue, so there will be more epidemics, pandemics and earthquakes like the one in Turkey. 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.”

“If we are to future-proof the sustainability of tourism, now is the time to give greater consideration for building resilience and it is especially more 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,” Bartlett added.

While tourism remains one of the world’s major economic sectors—accounting for 7 percent of global trade and one in 10 jobs in 2019—it’s also one of the most vulnerable industries as evidenced in recent years by the negative impact of natural disasters, pandemics and economic downturns.

Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, the Global Tourism Resilience Centre (GTRCMC) has been a leader in terms of the push for capacity building in tourism resilience. A product of the Montego Bay Declaration, the GTRCMC was established to address these inevitable disruptions through preparedness, management and recovery strategies, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.

“The GTRCMC has been the unwavering global voice for tourism resilience and to have achieved a day focused on bolstering our efforts will encourage more partnerships among countries to build capacity through research and the coming together of the best minds,” Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the GTRCMC, said in a statement.

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