Southern African nations aim to boost tourism growth

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The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) said Thursday they want move Southern Africa’s share of tourism from its current 2 percent of global tourist arrivals and receipts to 5 percent within the next decade.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector from Southern African Community (SADC) met in Johannesburg to strategize on how to collaborate to increase the tourism in the region.

The tourism industry resolved to increase cooperation between government and private tourism operators to make the industry grow.

Sem Shikongo, Chairman of RETOSA and Director of Tourism and Gaming, Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia said the organization will come up with a vision to enhance the region as the destination of choice.

“RETOSA is now … with a new mandate and two key objectives, to increase competitiveness of the region and increased and improved global tourism market share for the region. This must be achieved through a smart partnership between the region’s private sector players and RETOSA in a game-changing manner through innovation and pragmatism,” said Shikongo.

Tourism remains a priority sector of many of the SADC countries’ economies. He said the region’s tourism ministries have committed themselves to creating the enabling policy and legislative environment.

Paul Matamisa, CEO of the Zimbabwe Tourism Council said coordination by tourism is the way to grow the regional economies.

“Today was a good positive beginning for the good future of Southern Africa where RETOSA has to engage all stakeholders and hope they bring all to the party, especially the private sector institutions,” said Matamisa.

The Chairperson of the private sector association in Mozambique Vasco Manhica said they want RETOSA to add value to tourism in the region.
“By championing regional collaboration, RETOSA must drive Intra-Africa Tourism because a robust domestic and regional tourism sector is essential to a thriving tourism economy in Africa,” said the CEO of South African Tourism, Sisa Nthshona.

RETOSA said tourism and its relations to economic growth, employment creation and poverty elimination are fundamentally interlinked to stimulation of investment and co

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