Global Tourism Resilience Day

The Global Tourism Resilience Day (GTRD) is an annual event observed on February 17 each year. It was adopted by the United Nations on February 6, 2023, with the objective of highlighting the importance of tourism resilience at the international level. This article will discuss the significance of the tourism industry and the need for tourism resilience.

Importance of the Tourism Industry

The tourism sector is one of the major contributors to economic growth. In 2019, it accounted for 7 percent of global trade and 10 percent of global GDP. It is the third largest export industry in the world. This sector is responsible for providing 1 in 10 jobs globally. For several countries, this sector contributes 15 percent to 25 percent of the GDP. For countries like Palau and the Maldives, this sector contributes to almost half of their GDP.

Challenges faced by the Tourism Industry

The tourism industry faces several challenges such as natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, political instability, and economic downturns. These challenges have an adverse impact on the industry and cause a significant decline in tourism activities. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the tourism industry worldwide, leading to the loss of jobs and revenue for the sector. Similarly, natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes have a significant impact on the industry, leading to a decrease in tourist arrivals and revenue.

Need for Tourism Resilience

Tourism resilience refers to the ability of the tourism industry to adapt to and recover from various challenges and crises. Building tourism resilience is essential to ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry and its contribution to the economy. It involves developing strategies to mitigate risks, enhance preparedness, and implement a coordinated response to crises. A resilient tourism industry can withstand and recover from crises faster and continue to provide employment opportunities and generate revenue for the economy.

The Global Tourism Resilience Day

The Global Tourism Resilience Day is an initiative to raise awareness of the importance of tourism resilience and promote measures to enhance the sector’s resilience. It aims to bring together stakeholders from the tourism industry, governments, and other sectors to discuss ways to enhance tourism resilience. The inaugural edition of the GTRD was observed on February 17, 2023.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has identified several strategies for enhancing tourism resilience. These include the development of sustainable tourism, diversification of tourism products, and promoting community-based tourism. Sustainable tourism involves developing tourism activities that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable. Diversification of tourism products involves expanding the range of tourism activities offered in a particular region to attract a diverse range of tourists. Community-based tourism involves involving the local community in tourism activities to ensure their participation in and benefit from the sector.

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