The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has published a report on practical guidance and case studies to support destinations to become more resilient and sustainable in its Sustainability and Investment Forum.
According to the WTTC, the report ‘Enhancing Resilience to Create Sustainability in Destinations,’ created jointly with ICF, the industry partner and a recognized global provider of digital consulting and services, provides practical and structured knowledge of destinations as they take into account their elasticity and durability, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The WTTC also notes that the almost complete ban on international travel has left no tourist destination untouched. As a result, this innovative analysis is based on real studies and, at the same time, presents a series of elasticity actions for destinations before, during, or aftershock events.
For destinations to focus on building resilience and long-term sustainability, the report offers five elements: environment, infrastructure, energy, economic and social sustainability.
In addition, it offers four stages to analyze the shock and its consequences such as ‘understand the risk,’ ‘prepare for shocks,’ ‘respond to shock,’ and ‘long term strategies.’
In the report was also presented case studies that illustrate how destinations that rely heavily on tourism be they cities or islands, deserts or the tropics, implement awareness of resilience.
The report presents the destination of Puerto Rico as a case study, as the range of environmental crises and economic challenges have made resilience a cornerstone of this country’s tourism strategy.
In this regard, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact, thus affecting the Travel and Tourism sector worldwide, but this is not the first shock that brings chaos to destinations and their citizens.
“This report allows destinations to understand how to better prepare, act, and plan for future risks, strengthening their resilience and long-term sustainability. The pandemic has taught us you can never be prepared enough. Destinations have learned not only from their own experiences and those of other countries as they recover and build back,” she also noted.
According to her, Puerto Rico is an example of a destination that learned to become more resilient through COVID and natural disasters.
ICF President and CEO John Wasson also stressed that for over half a century, the ICF has been passionate about partnering with organizations worldwide to adapt and institutionalize sustainable policies and practices.
“Today, we are proud to partner with WTTC to offer unique insights and practical guidance on developing adaptable sustainability plans that build long-term resilience, despite prevailing uncertainties and increasing extreme events,” he added.
Moreover, the WTTC reveals that in 2019 the contribution of the Travel and Tourism sector to GDP was 10.3 per cent, thus experiencing a decline of 5.3 per cent in 2020 when the pandemic was at its peak and suffered a dizzying 50 per cent loss.
Meanwhile, the latest WTTC EIR Report has shown that 2021 saw the start of the recovery for the global Travel and Tourism sector, where its contribution to GDP increased by 21.7 per cent to reach more than $5.8 trillion.
On the other hand, the sector saw a recovery of more than 18 million global Travel and Tourism jobs, representing a positive growth of 6.7 per cent in 2021.