The first ever Global Tourism Resilience Day is set to be launched at Expo 2020 Dubai by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, and Co-Chair of his brainchild, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC).
“We will launch Global Tourism Resilience Day on February 17 as Jamaica prepares to mark Jamaica Day the following day. The focus will be on the ability of countries to build capacity to respond to international shocks and to be able to predict with greater certainty their responses. It will also aid countries in understanding and mitigating the effects of these shocks on their development, but most importantly, it will help them manage and recover quickly afterwards. We will begin this process by advocating to international bodies such as the United Nations for the observation of a Global Tourism Resilience Day beginning February 17, 2023,” Minister Bartlett explained.
The travel industry is and always has been fragmented, 90% are SMEs and studies show that the majority are not prepared to respond to crises. Destinations must lead. The GTRCMC is tackling that concern in a big way. By launching an annual tribute to resilience and naming a day as such, the Centre is bringing the need for the travel industry to focus on preparedness, crisis management, recovery and ongoing resilience to the fore. Coupled with the launch of the Day, the Centre has partnered with the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council and the International Tourism Investment Corp. to provide an in-depth Forum on resilience. How to prepare, plan and ensure travel entities minimize the impact of crises and thus can rebound and recover more quickly. The day will stress the need to implement, not talk.
The global tourism industry has generally been described as ‘resilient’ because the accumulated wisdom from experiences indicated that the sector bounced back quickly after a crisis. However, Minister Bartlett noted that, “Over the past two years, the pandemic has tested this presumed industry resilience more than any previous disruptive event in modern history. It has forced all destinations, irrespective of size, location and attributes, into survival mode.”
“It has also heightened consciousness; the industry cannot afford to be taken off-guard again. Instead, it is called upon to urgently adopt a methodological, collaborative and institutional approach towards resilience. Destinations need to build the skills and knowledge for anticipating, preparing, responding, managing and learning from all disruptive events to ensure they are ready for the next event,” he added.
The GTRCMC is thrilled to have an annual day, February 17, dedicated to resilience. We will strive to identify best practices, lessons learned and services that assist the industry in building resilience. Through the Centre and its partners there will be academic rigor to support the shared knowledge around good practices,” commented the GTRCMC Executive Director, Prof. Lloyd Waller.
Minister Bartlett shared that the theme for this inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Day forum will be “Harnessing the Path to Recovery through Resilience and Investment” and will highlight the inherent and unquestionable links between tourism resilience and regeneration.
“In this regard, Dubai Expo offers a perfect space to showcase our work and build global partnerships with key decision makers continuing our mission to provide guidance to global, regional, and national tourism stakeholders,” GTRCMC and Resilience Council Co-Chair, Dr. Taleb Rifai added. The Expo has just surpassed 10 million visitors and has 108 countries represented in individual pavilions.
Global and regional speakers will share key information on investment which leads to resilience. Case studies will be highlighted by speakers such as the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Honourable Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya and Minister Reyes Morato of Spain, Minister Al Fayez of Jordan, Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International as well as Julia Simpson, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council along with many others.
Taking place in the DP Pavillion in Dubai, the event starts at 1:00pm local time and closes at 5:30pm.