Matsapha-As the world opens up and travel restrictions are relaxed, post the Covid 19 Pandemic. Many countries including Eswatini are commemorating celebrating World Tourism Day to mark the end of September.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Eswatini’s industry members alongside the public and private sector united in celebrating the power and potential that tourism has in improving the lives of EmaSwati and subsequently boosting the country’s economy.
This year’s theme, Rethinking Tourism, manifested in a concerted focus on youth empowerment through a Tourism Youth Forum on Development. The forum was hosted by the Eswatini Tourism Authority in recognition of the pivotal role that young people play in carving a sustainable and successful future of tourism in the country.
The Chairperson of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA), Oupa Pilane encouraged the youth to locate their niche and identify potential business opportunities in tourism.
“Within tourism lies opportunities for young people to make a tangible difference in Eswatini. The tourism value chain demonstrates the need for a diverse range of specialised practitioners in marketing, content creation, transport, retail and accommodation, amongst many others. These are areas that the youth can exploit,” said Pilane.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati observed that World Tourism Day is dedicated to magnifying and emphasising on the undisputed positive impact that tourism continues to make in the development of economies and the upliftment of communities the world over.
Rethinking Tourism invites us to apply the learnings of the past two years characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic in carving a successful and sustainable future for tourism.
“You will agree with me that one of the biggest and most valuable lessons to come from these unprecedented times was the importance of collaboration. As a sector that empowers several industries through its diverse value chain ranging from transport and retail, to agriculture and entertainment, it is crucial that we unite in exploring ways of maintaining and further building on the world class tourism offerings that the Kingdom of Eswatini has been lauded for over the years. We are at an exciting time in tourism as we witness and work towards the cautious reawakening of the sector.”
Worldwide, tourism has evolved to become the most expansive and fastest growing sectors of our times, supporting the livelihood of 1 in 11 people and thus, holding immense socio-economic opportunities. Africa in particular holds an undeniable potential.
Also present at the commemoration of World Tourism Day was the United Nations Resident Coordinator, George Wachira who remarked that world-wide, tourism has evolved to become the most expansive and fastest growing sectors of our times, supporting the livelihood of 1 in 11 people and thus, holding immense socio-economic opportunities. Africa in particular holds an undeniable potential.
“In our majestic Eswatini, tourism accounts for 2.8% of total GDP. Given the warm-nature of its people, low crime rates in comparison to neighbouring countries, spectacular landscapes and sceneries, venturesome game parks, numerous festivals and cultural richness, Eswatini prides itself as an exceptionally beautiful, exciting and safe tourist destination.
It is by no mistake that the Government of Eswatini, in its Strategic roadmap 2019-2022, singled out tourism as one of the five key growth sectors alongside Agriculture; Manufacturing & Agro-processing; Mining & Energy; as well as Education and ICT.”
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