Celebrating Resilience In Tourism

Coinciding with final day of the Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, today marks the first Global Tourism Resilience Day.

Officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, Global Tourism Resilience Day emphasizes the need to foster resilient tourism development to deal with shocks from natural disasters to global pandemics, taking into account the vulnerability of the tourism sector to emergencies — especially in tourism dependent regions.

“What a wonderful accolade for tourism to have a day designated, from henceforth, to celebrate the hard work that the people that work in tourism across the world put in. I think more importantly, it celebrates the resilience of the sector, that we can experience these global shocks as we have before with SARS, before with the 2008 financial meltdown, and then with COVID-19,” Donovan White, Director of Tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board, told PressToday. “Tourism has bounced back globally to the extent where countries that are so dependent on tourism, especially those in the Caribbean, as the most tourism dependent nations, are already seeing close to 2019 levels of performance in 2022. So there’s a level of resilience that already exists.”

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness kicked off the conference on Wednesday, highlighting the need to strengthen linkages between tourism and other sectors to enhance the resilience of tourism and boost economic growth globally.

“Tourism acts as a catalyst for economic growth and development mainly through its induced economic impact through the creation of vital linkages with several other segments of national economies,” he said, addressing the crowd of industry personnel, tourism officials and experts on location for the conference. “As part of building the sustainable and resilient tourism which we all want, these linkages must be strengthened, and the net value added to local economies from tourism enhanced.”

Today, The Global Tourism Resilience Day Forum will focus on sessions like The Future of Tourism with Adam Stewart, Sandals Resorts International; Nick Rose, Royal Caribbean Group; Nicola Madden-Greig, Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association; and more.

“The sector is increasingly exposed to volatility and disruptions arising from a range of both traditional and non-traditional threats, including natural disasters, climate change and global warming, terrorism, insecurity and political instability, cyber vulnerabilities, economic recession, epidemics and pandemics; indeed, tourism is affected by almost every global shock,” added Prime Minister Holness.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett revealed that the GTRCMC will be developing “a resilience barometer” to be able to measure the level of resilience of countries, organizations and companies.

“This is very important because that’s going to give valuable information for huge management decision-making, also for investment decisions,” he said, adding that it will also be relevant to tourists, providing information on when to travel and where to travel and how to prepare themselves for their intended destinations.