The United Nations (UN) has officially ratified a move advocated by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett to facilitate the global observance of Tourism Resilience Day on February 17.
Bartlett brought a resolution to the United Nations on Monday (February 6), stating that the day would highlight the importance of being able to respond to global shocks.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, countries whose economies depended heavily on tourism were severely impacted and struggled to recover. But Jamaica’s recovery was swift with the country recording 120 per cent of its 2019 returns in relation to earnings from tourism, an achievement attributed to the resilient industry that was built over time.
“The Caribbean, which is the most tourism dependent region on Earth, is hugely impacted by weather events such as hurricanes and seismic events and even volcanic activity. So, when these things happen, how do you respond? How do you respond quickly? How do you recover? How do you recover fast and grow afterwards? That’s what resilience is about,” stated Bartlett in an interview with United States-based television station Fox 5.
Jamaica made history in 2019 when it developed the first Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre after hurricanes Irma and Maria had caused severe damage in countries in the region. The resiliency centre was designed to help other countries to recover from natural disasters and keep their tourism sectors alive.
Jamaica is expected to launch a conference next week to mark the official launch of the day.
READ: Bartlett to petition Global Tourism Resilience Day