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Travel & Tourism Industry is More Resilient Than Ever According to New Research by WTTC and Global Rescue

Crisis Recovery Times Decrease Over 50%; Political Instability Ranked #1 Crisis 

London, November 4, 2019 – The World Travel & Tourism Council [WTTC], which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, in partnership with Global Rescue, a membership organisation providing medical, security, evacuation, travel risk and crisis management services, unveiled a new body of research today that analysed the impact of 90 crises between 2001 and 2018, at a national and city level; examining the time to recovery as well lost arrivals and lost visitor spending.  

Key findings included: 

  • The Travel & Tourism sector is more resilient than ever – average recovery times have decreased from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018. 
  • Of the four crisis categories analysed, political instability proved the most challenging [with average recovery times of 22.2 months, minimum 10 months] while terrorist or security related incidents have the shortest average recovery time of 11.5 months (minimum 2 months).  
  • Additionally, the average recovery times for natural disasters and disease outbreaks were 16.2 months and 19.4 months respectively (minimum 1 and 10 months respectively). 
  • Public private partnerships and effective, transparent communications are critical for preparedness and prevention. 

*Note: Of the 90 crises analyzed – 32% were terrorism/security related, 13% were disease/outbreaks; 19% were political instability and 36% were natural disasters. 

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said: “This comprehensive research shows just how resilient the Travel & 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.” 

Later today, WTTC CEO & President, Gloria Guevara, will host a panel discussion at the World Travel Market revealing the research findings of the report entitled “Crisis Readiness: Are You Prepared and Risk Resilient to Safeguard Your People and Destinations?” joined by Daniel Richards, Chief Executive Officer, Global Rescue, Isabel Hill, Director, US National Travel & Tourism Office, Government of the United States of America, Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism of Egypt and Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya. 

One of the panel participants, Dan Richards, Chief Executive Officer, Global Rescue said: “Sometimes as challenging as the crisis itself is the preparation, management and coordination of the resources needed to mount an effective response.” 

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.