February 17 officially declared as Global Tourism Resilience Day
KINGSTON, JAMAICA (February 8, 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 yesterday with the support of over ninety countries.
This will be 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, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism the Hon. Edmund Bartlett highlighted the importance of the declaration, stating, “This 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. 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 and in 2019 accounted for 7% of global trade and one in ten 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 and earthquakes, as well as pandemics and economic recessions.
“If we are to future-proof the sustainability of tourism, 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 this industry. This is indeed a huge step in coalescing global support every year on this important matter and I thank all our stakeholders and partners who worked to make this happen,” added Minister Bartlett.
The Global Tourism Resilience Centre (GTRCMC), headquartered in Kingston, has been a major driver in calls for capacity building in tourism resilience. Born out of 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 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,” said Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the GTRCMC.
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, Jamaica, from February 15-17, 2023.
For more information about Jamaica, visit www.visitjamaica.com.
About The Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. JTB offices are also located in Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Berlin, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Tokyo and Paris.
This year, the JTB was declared the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board’ by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for the 14th consecutive year and Jamaica was named the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ for the 16th consecutive year as well as the ‘Caribbean’s Best Nature Destination’ and the ‘Caribbean’s Best Adventure Tourism Destination.’ In addition, Jamaica was awarded four gold 2021 Travvy Awards, including ‘Best Destination, Caribbean/Bahamas,’ ‘Best Culinary Destination –Caribbean,’ Best Travel Agent Academy Program,’ as well as a TravelAge West WAVE award for ‘International Tourism Board Providing the Best Travel Advisor Support’ for a record-setting 10th time. In 2020, Jamaica was named the WTA’s ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination,’ the ‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination,’ and the ‘World’s Leading Family Destination.’ Also in 2020, the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) named Jamaica the 2020 ‘Destination of the Year for Sustainable Tourism’. In 2019, TripAdvisor® ranked Jamaica as the #1 Caribbean Destination and #14 Best Destination in the World. Jamaica is home to some of the world’s best accommodations, attractions and service providers that continue to receive prominent global recognition.