The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution to designate February 17 annually as Global Tourism Resilience Day. The resolution was initiated by Professor Lloyd Waller from The University of the West Indies (The UWI) who also serves as Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), which is hosted at The UWI Mona Campus.
Global Tourism Resilience Day (February 17) aims to emphasize the need to foster resilient tourism development to deal with shocks, taking into account the vulnerability of the tourism sector to emergencies.
Professor Waller worked on drafting the initial concept paper, which became resolution A/77/L.43 at the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly. The declaration is an outcome of a GTRCMC event held on February 17, 2022, at the World Expo, which was supported by the World Travel Awards, Sandals Resorts and Royal Jordanian Airlines, and the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC).
According to Professor Waller, “The resolution can be considered a monumental triumph for Jamaica and The UWI, and a significant contribution to the future of the global tourism industry. The resolution has set a benchmark for awareness about the crucial role of tourism resilience in preparing for, managing and recovering from various crises and disruptions. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which further emphasized the significance of tourism to the world economy and human wellbeing, all parties involved in the realisation of this resolution deserve commendation for their substantial contribution towards the sustainability of the planet and the future of humanity.”
The resolution, presented by The Honourable Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica and Co-Chair for the GTRCMC, received full support from 94 nations at the United Nations General Assembly. The presentation followed an address made by The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, who also served as one of the Honorary Chairs of the GTRCMC, at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022.
Prime Minister Holness described the day as “a historic accomplishment for the planet and a means of promoting a sustainable and research-driven approach to tourism resilience through knowledge and awareness.”
In addition to his role in driving the resolution, Professor Waller has been working on methodology for building resilience. Recognising the need for practical guidance on this topic, he is developing a convergence of various tactics, strategies, and methodologies such as business continuity management, project management, crisis management/communication, risk management, mixed-methods research, and operations management. This ‘Resilience Methodology’ is expected to be released in Professor Waller’s newest book later this year.