The day - which will be marked each year on February 17 - will be used to promote a sustainable and resilient travel industry, with a focus on the potential for the sector to drive economic growth, social development and financial inclusion, in addition to environmental benefits.
The UN voted on Monday, February 6 to adopt resolution 70.1 drafted by the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council in collaboration with the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre.
It was backed by countries including the Bahamas, Belize, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Greece, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Malta, Namibia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Zambia.
More than 30 private sector associations including the USTA, IATA, the WTTC, Travalyst, the Business Travel Association, LATA, PATA, ETOA, ITB Berlin, Travel Foundation, Travel Declares a Climate Emergency, the GBTA, USAID Developing Sustainable Travel in Bosnia Herzegovina and the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers also endorsed the proposal.
Jamaican tourism minister Edmund Bartlett (pictured), who made the case to the UN and is also co-chair of the Resilience Council and the GTRCMC, said: “The day will remind countries and businesses in travel and tourism to focus on how you respond to crises, how you recover quickly, and how you will grow. That is what resilience is all about.”
Resilience Council spokesperson Laurie Myers added: “Every year leading up to February 17 we will run events and campaigns to remind both the public and private sectors to focus on preparedness, sustainability, recovery and resilience with the outstanding examples being honoured establishing best practice and in the process saving lives.”
Minister Bartlett will hold a Talk and Toast event at ITB to share the enormous importance of this day going forward and hand out certificates of appreciation and acknowledgment to invited organizations present at ITB. March 9 at 5:20pm in Hall 3 1.b.