LONDON — Travel takes a big hit when global crises strike but a new report from The World Travel & Tourism Council says the recovery time for the industry has become much shorter.
Average recovery times have decreased from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018, according to WTTC’s report in partnership with Global Rescue.
The study looks at the impact of 90 global crises between 2001 and 2018, at a national and city level, examining the time to recovery as well lost arrivals and lost visitor spending.
Among the key findings are …
. 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).
Of the 90 crises analyzed, 32% were terrorism/security related, 13% were disease/outbreaks; 19% were political instability and 36% were natural disasters.
“This comprehensive research shows just how resilient the Travel & Tourism sector truly is,” says Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC. “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.”
Guevara is hosting a panel discussion today at the World Travel Market in London with the research findings, along with Daniel Richards, CEO, Global Rescue; Isabel Hill, Director, U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office; Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism of Egypt; and Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya.
“Sometimes as challenging as the crisis itself is the preparation, management and coordination of the resources needed to mount an effective response,” says Global Rescue’s Richard.
“We are optimistic that by working together, we will be able to further improve the sector’s resilience to systemic shocks.”
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 full report can be viewed at wttc.org/crisisreadiness.