UN Unanimously Approves Jamaica’s Resolution for Global Tourism Resilience Day

KINGSTON, Jamaica –  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.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, at the United Nations General Assembly for the adoption of the resolution on Global Tourism Resilience Day
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, makes his presentation at the United Nations General Assembly for the adoption of the resolution on Global Tourism Resilience Day.
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.”
Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett on Global Tourism Resilience Day
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (2nd Right) and Permanent Resident of Jamaica to the United Nations, Ambassador Brian Wallace (C) pause for a moment before the adoption of the resolution on Global Tourism Resilience Day at the United Nations headquarters in New York on February 6. Sharing the lens are l-r, some of the core group that supported the resolution, Deputy Permanent Resident for Spain, Permanent Resident for Portugal (front), Permanent Resident for Greece, Permanent Resident for Croatia, Permanent Resident for the Dominican Republic, Permanent Resident for Botswana and Permanent Resident for Malta.
Tourism is one of the world’s major economic sectors. In 2019 it accounted for 7% of global trade and one in ten jobs. However, tourism also remains one of the most vulnerable industries. This has been evident over the years. Especially with the negative impact of climatic events like hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as pandemics and economic recessions.
Sustainability of Tourism
“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.

Global Voice for Tourism Resilience

“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.

Global Tourism Resilience Conference

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. It will be held at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, from February 15-17, 2023.

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