When a country experiences a crisis, tourism can take a major hit for many months or even years, but a new global study has uncovered a sharp fall in travel and tourism recovery times following such incidents.

The research by the World Travel & Tourism Council and crisis management specialist Global Rescue revealed that average recovery times following a crisis have dropped from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018. That’s quite a fall.

The study, which you can read in full here, assessed the impact of 90 crises during the period.

Four main crisis categories analysed: environmental disasters (extreme weather events, natural disasters and man-made environmental disasters), geopolitical risks (state collapse or crisis), terrorism (terrorist attacks) and epidemics (the spread of infectious diseases).

You may be surprised to learn that terrorism actually has the shortest average recovery time of 11.5 months or a minimum of 2 months.

The most challenging to recover from was geopolitical crises which had average recovery times of 22.2 months with a minimum of 10 months.

The study found the average recovery times for natural disasters was a minimum of 1 month and an average of 16.2 months and for disease, it was a minimum of 10 months and an average of 19.4.


Image: Mayur Gala on Unsplash

“This comprehensive research shows just how resilient the travel and tourism sector truly is”.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO

“While there is still work to be done, the data shows that recovery times have fallen significantly over the past two decades,” she said.

She said it was 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.

Chief Executive Officer of The Global Rescue Companies Daniel Richards went on to say that while the Travel & Tourism sector is already a very resilient sector, building resilience is “a continuous process rather than an end-state”.

“As a sector must constantly strive towards developing policies and building the tools and processes necessary to respond to the crises of tomorrow,” he said.