The first ever Global Tourism Resilience Day is set to be launched at Expo 2020 Dubai by Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett.
The minister is also co-chair of his brainchild, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), which will be organising the event.
As Dubai prepares to mark Jamaica Day on February 17th, it will also launch Global Tourism Resilience Day.
The travel industry is and always has been fragmented, 90 per cent of the companies involved are small- and medium-sized entities and studies show that the majority are not prepared to respond to crises.
Destinations must, thus, lead, and 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 on-going resilience to the fore.
Coupled with the launch of the day, the centre has partnered with the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council (GTTRC) and the International Tourism Investment Corporation (ITIC) to provide an in-depth forum on resilience.
“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,” Bartlett explained.
Taleb Rifai is co-chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre
The global tourism industry was generally described as ‘resilient’ because the accumulated wisdom from past 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.
Sandals executive chairman, Adam Stewart, will be on hand to lead discussions
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 2020 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, Taleb Rifai added.
The expo has just surpassed 11 million visitors and has 108 countries represented in individual pavilions.
Global and regional speakers will share key information on investment which leads to resilience.
WTTC chief executive, Julia Simpson, will be in Dubai for the event
Case studies will be highlighted by speakers such as the Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya and Spain tourism minister, Reyes Morato.
Also on hand will be Jordan tourism minister Nayef Al Fayez, Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Julia Simpson, chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and Liz Orteguera, chief executive of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, along with many others.
Taking place in the DP Pavilion in Dubai, the event starts at 13:00 local time and closes at 19:00.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, headquartered in Jamaica, was the first academic resource centre dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry of the region.
The GTRCMC assists destinations in preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
Since its inception in 2018, several satellite Centres have been launched in Kenya, Nigeria and Costa Rica.