February 7, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |
NEW YORK, U.S., February 7, 2023 – After months of advocacy, high-level discussions and partnerships, Jamaica has been successful in receiving the necessary support to have February 17 officially declared Global Tourism Resilience Day. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution on February 6 with the support of over 90 countries.
This is the first ever Global Tourism Resilience Day, which will now be recognized every year on February 17.
Following a presentation at the UNGA’s 58th Plenary meeting in New York on February 6, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, highlighted the importance of the declaration.
“Today’s 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. 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.”
Tourism is one of the world’s major economic sectors. In 2019, the industry accounted for seven percent of global trade and one in 10 jobs. However, tourism also remains one of the most vulnerable industries, and this has been evident over the years with the negative impact of climatic events like hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics and economic recessions.
“If we are to future-proof the sustainability of tourism,” Minister Bartlett added, “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 the industry. This is indeed a huge step in coalescing global support every year on the important matter, and I thank all our stakeholders and partners who worked to make this happen.”
The Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), headquartered in Kingston, has been a major driver in calls for capacity-building in tourism resilience. Born from the Montego Bay Declaration, the GTRCMC was established to address these inevitable disruptions through preparedness, management and recovery strategies.
“The GTRCMC has been the unwavering global voice for tourism resilience,” said Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the GTRCMC, “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.”
This is the second designation attributed to the efforts of Jamaica since the designation of the International Year of Human Rights in 1968. The designation also comes ahead of the upcoming Global Tourism Resilience Conference, which will be held at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters in Kingston from February 15 to 17, 2023.
For more information about Jamaica, go to visitjamaica.com
SOURCE Jamaica Tourist Board