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Global Tourism Resilience Day 2024, Date, History and Importance

The United Nations’ Global Tourism Resilience Day, celebrated for the first time on February 17, 2023, marks a significant step towards acknowledging and enhancing the resilience of the tourism industry. This initiative aims to foster a tourism sector that can withstand both foreseen and unforeseen challenges, thereby ensuring its contribution to sustainable development and economic stability, especially in developing countries.

The Critical Role of Tourism in Sustainable Development

Tourism is not just about travel and leisure; it is a vital source of income and employment for many developing nations, including the least developed ones. The sector’s ability to bounce back after disruptions is crucial for maintaining economic stability and preventing socio-demographic issues. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the tourism industry’s vulnerability, with travel restrictions and border closures causing unprecedented economic losses worldwide.

Economic Contributions and Recovery

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism’s direct contribution to the global economy was a staggering $3.5 trillion in 2019. However, the pandemic led to a sharp decline, with the economic contribution falling to $1.9 trillion in 2021. Despite these challenges, the industry has shown signs of recovery, with the UNWTO’s 2023 projections indicating a return to almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.

The Importance of Resilient Tourism

Resilient tourism not only contributes to economic growth and job creation, particularly for women and youth, but also plays a pivotal role in poverty eradication. It supports environmental preservation, sustainable resource use, biodiversity, and the development of local communities and small businesses. The celebration of Global Tourism Resilience Day underscores the need for strategies that enable quick recovery and sustainability in tourism.

Global Recovery Trends and Regional Highlights

The latest UNWTO data reveals that international tourism experienced a significant uptick in 2023, with an estimated 975 million tourists traveling internationally between January and September, marking a 38% increase compared to 2022. The Middle East led the recovery, with tourist arrivals surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 20%. Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific also showed notable recovery, albeit at varying rates.

Kazakhstan’s Tourism Growth

Kazakhstan, in particular, has seen a remarkable increase in its tourist flow, with 834,900 foreign tourists visiting from January to September 2023, a 37% rise compared to the previous year. This growth reflects an expanding interest in Kazakhstan as a travel destination, attracting visitors from both neighbouring countries and beyond.


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