Global Tourism Resilience Day Date in the current year: February 17, 2024

Global Tourism Resilience Day Global Tourism Resilience Day is a United Nations observance held annually on February 17. It was created to highlight the importance of resilient and sustainable tourism for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Resilience is an ability to recover from damage or adjust to unfortunate circumstances quickly. But what does it mean exactly when applied to tourism? Here’s an example. Tourism was one of the first industries heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel limitations, border closures, and widespread lockdowns. About 62 million people working in the tourism industry lost their jobs during the pandemic, and multiple tourism companies went bankrupt and closed down. Only those survived that found ways to adapt quickly to the disruptions, i.e. showed resilience in the face of adversity.

The pandemic is an example of a major shock that affected the global tourism industry, but tourist destinations around the world get impacted by various factors all the time. Natural disasters, health scares, acts of terrorism, political unrest, labor strikes, and other stresses can disrupt the travel industry for days, weeks, months, and even years in some cases. Resilient tourism means the ability to bounce back from disasters as quickly as possible and adapt to new circumstances should the need arise.

Resilience is directly linked to sustainability because the ability to recover from major shocks, i.e. resilience, helps to ensure long-lasting prosperity, i.e. sustainability. It is impossible to achieve sustainable tourism without resilience, and sustainable tourism is highly important for sustainable development in general and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in particular.

For many developing countries, including small island states and some of the least developed countries, tourism is a major source of employment, income, tax revenue, and foreign currency earnings. For some of these countries, it accounts for more then 20% of their GDP. Keeping tourism resilient and sustainable helps create jobs, especially for women and young people, promotes economic growth, improves living conditions, and in the long run contributes to the eradication of poverty.

Resilient and sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, also plays a great role in environmental conservation, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity, fostering the development of local communities (especially in rural areas), supporting small local businesses and family farmers, and improving the quality of life of indigenous peoples.

Global Tourism Resilience Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in February 2023. Its main goal is to raise awareness of the need to foster the development of resilient tourism that is able to deal with shocks, both predictable and unexpected. It is also a call for UN member states and other relevant stakeholders (international and regional organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, businesses, concerned individuals) to develop strategies for quick rehabilitation of tourism after disruptions.

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Global Tourism Resilience Day, UN observances, international observances, resilient tourism, sustainable tourism