Following the initial release of the Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme in December 2021, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today launched the Tourism Destination Resilience course in five languages: English, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, Mandarin and Chinese, with Thai to be released in the coming weeks.
The TDR Programme, which is implemented by PATA with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), consists of tools and resources available on PATA’s Crisis Resource Centre website to help build a more resilient tourism industry. TDR assists tourism destinations and businesses in their COVID-19 recovery but, more importantly, helps them prepare for future crises and challenges.
“PATA’s Tourism Destination Resilience Program was developed to support destinations in establishing a strong foundation for sustainability, minimising the risk of crises and identifying capacity building opportunities. It serves as a wholistic education on destination management which is critical for all government tourism bureaus at the national, provincial and local level.,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “TDR allows our industry to develop resilience and mitigate future challenges. With resilience, we move ever closer to sustainable development”.
The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on destinations, businesses, communities and environments have been unprecedented, and no destination manager or tourism business was prepared for a crisis of this scale. For this reason, preparing for challenges, changes, crises and emergencies should be an essential element in tourism planning and management.
“Working on improving our resilience means we become the masters of our own luck. Resilience is being able to better understand your own vulnerabilities and capacities, as well as potential risks,” said Mareike Bentfeld, advisor for disaster risk management at GIZ.
Resilience, moreover, is crucial for increasing sustainability. As put by Graham Harper, Director of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at PATA, “for a tourism destination to be sustainable, it must first be resilient. Years of progress on regenerating an ecosystem or eliminating poverty could be lost in a single disaster.”
Over the last year, PATA’s team of independent experts have been carefully researching, designing and developing the TDR programme, to provide tourism professionals with the most relevant and updated information, strategies, tools, materials and resources on how to build destination resilience.
The TDR Programme includes the TDR Course, which consists of 10 modules that cover all the necessary steps towards building resilience, such as risk assessment; destination risk management; emergency and post-crisis planning; training and capacity building; developing resilient infrastructure; local & regional market supply and demand; tourism offer diversification; and sustainability as a competitive advantage.
Participants who take the open-sourced online course can receive a certificate after the completion of each module as well as of the full course if they achieve the minimum required score in the final quiz.