Tourism: a path to resilient communities
The United Nations state, “It is urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk in order to more effectively protect persons, communities and countries, their livelihoods, health, cultural heritage, socioeconomic assets and ecosystems, and thus strengthen their resilience”. Risk and resilience cannot be managed in isolation. The need for a community approach to resilience is necessary and the tourism industry offers a strong opportunity to enhance community preparedness and resilience through its network of resources.
Tourism is a $25 billion industry for Queensland and creates employment for 217,000 Queenslanders. The industry is growing, with forecasts indicating that tourism will continue to grow at a rate faster than the wider economy over the next five years. Tourism is a complex and disparate industry that touches many people and business sectors. It is part of the economic and social fabric of the community. Research emphasises that tourism builds communities, creates a sense of pride and supports the development of infrastructure to support a viable community. As a complex network of stakeholders, tourism is also a challenging industry to effectively understand and manage.
Given its role and reach, the tourism industry and its stakeholders have a significant role to play in strengthening community resilience, ensuring preparedness as we face turbulent climatic and global events and in support communities as they rebuild post disaster. This presentation will explore the roles for and commitments made by the tourism industry to strengthen community resilience and to prepare for the unexpected. It discusses a practical approach for a tourism-supported, community-based plan for resilience building.
Natasha is the Policy and Research Manager for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC). QTIC has been acting as the ‘Voice for Tourism’ for over 15 years, representing over 3,000 members from across the state. In late 2017, QTIC partnered with Griffith University’s Institute for Tourism and the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science in the development and launch of the Tourism Sector Adaptation Plan. The Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland climate change response plan represents an industry-led climate adaptation and mitigation road map for the tourism industry, the first of its kind globally. Part of Natasha’s role now is in working with key partners across the sector to deliver some of the key actions and work with the industry to build business resilience for a strong and sustainable future.