Political instability is travel & tourism’s biggest challenge, says WTTC

By Luke Barras-hill |

Travel-tourism-resilienceThe global travel and tourism market has made significant strides over the past two decades when it comes to bouncing back from major crises, new research suggests.

Findings from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Global Rescue that analysed the impact of 90 crises shows average recovery times have halved in the past 18 years, from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018.

The research, dubbed ‘Crisis Readiness’, also examined lost arrivals and visitor spending at a national and city level.

It focuses on four categories: political instability, terrorist or security-related incidents, natural disasters and disease outbreaks.


Political instability proved to be the most stubborn, with average recovery times of 22.2 months and a minimum of 10 months.

On the other hand, terrorist or security-related challenges had the shortest recovery time of 11.5 months and a minimum of two months.

Recovery times for natural disasters and disease outbreaks were 16.2 months and 19.4 months, respectively.

Of the 90 crises studied, 32% were terrorism/security related, 13% were disease/outbreaks, 19% involved political instability and 36% were natural disasters.


Political instability is the toughest crisis for travel and tourism to overcome, according to Gloria Guevera, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council. Source: WTTC/Flickr.

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.

“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.”


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