Thu | Nov 30, 2023

UN designates February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2023 | 1:41 AM

The United Nations has ratified Jamaica’s efforts to bolster resilience in global tourism by officially designating February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day annually.

“This is a signal honour for Jamaica which highlights the fact that our nation continues to have such significant influence on the international stage. This is very timely as the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt and is causing a strain on many tourism-dependent states as they struggle to recover,” tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, said.

Jamaica will officially recognise Global Tourism Resilience Day during the first ever Global Tourism Resilience Conference, which will be held from February 15 to 17 at The University of the West Indies (UWI).The ministry noted that the designation follows months of high-level discussions and diplomatic engagements, and a call by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in September last year for the official designation of February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day annually when he addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Bartlett, who made a presentation on Global Tourism Resilience during Tuesday’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York, added that Global Tourism Resilience Day emphasises the importance of building tourism resilience across the world to fuel sustainable growth and development.

“This observance will aid in increasing the awareness and actions of global tourism stakeholders towards boosting the industry’s capacity to effectively handle and recover swiftly from major disruptions, such as pandemics, earthquakes and other natural disasters.”

Bartlett has been playing a leading role in promoting the need for tourism dependent states, in particular, to be prepared for inevitable internal and external shocks and to have a body that they can look to for support that will aid them in recovering quickly.

He has been spearheading the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) and co-authored with University of the West Indies Professor Lloyd Waller, the publication Tourism Resilience and Recovery for Global Sustainability and Development: Navigating COVID-19 and the Future.