Tourism industry more resilient than ever to crises: WTTC

The travel and tourism sector is more resilient than ever, with average recovery times having decreased from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018, the latest research by The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Global Rescue revealed.

The findings from the report titled “Crisis Readiness: Are You Prepared and Risk Resilient to Safeguard Your People and Destinations?” analysed the impact of 90 crises between 2001 and 2018 at national and city levels, and examined the time to recovery as well as lost arrivals and lost visitor spending.

Tourism industry shows greater resilience to calamities, new study shows

Of the 90 crises analysed, 32 per cent were terrorism/security related, 13 per cent were disease/outbreaks; 19 per cent were political instability and 36 per cent were natural disasters.

Of the four crisis categories analysed, political instability proved the most challenging, with average recovery times of 22.2 months, and minimum 10 months; while terrorist or security related incidents have the shortest average recovery time of 11.5 months and minimum 2 months.

Additionally, the study also found that the average recovery times for natural disasters and disease outbreaks were 16.2 months, and minimum one month; and 19.4 months, and minimum 10 months respectively.

Public private partnerships and effective, transparent communications are critical for preparedness and prevention, the study concluded.

WTTC’s president & CEO Gloria Guevara said: “This comprehensive research shows just how resilient the travel and tourism sector truly is. While there is still work to be done, the data shows that recovery times have fallen significantly over the past two decades, and that major strides have been made. It is crucial that we continue to learn from previous incidents and continue to come together through public private partnerships to make a real difference in reducing both the economic and human impact.”

She added: “Political instability has proven to be the most challenging crisis to overcome, with the longest recovery times. However, through public private collaboration, effective communication and continued efforts that focus on preparedness and prevention, we can make a real difference in reducing both the economic and human impact.”

In the report, WTTC and Global Rescue offer recommendations on how destinations can mitigate the impact of a crisis, showcasing successful examples from the likes of Kenya, Mexico, Egypt, Hawaii and Japan. The report also highlights the importance of being prepared and the need for coordinated management to ensure a successful recovery.

The full report can be read here.

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