victoriafalls.jpgThe Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa, RETOSA, says SADC is working towards improving individual countries’ images so as to improve tourist inflows into the region as a whole.

 

This came out when the visiting RETOSA Executive Director, Mr. Francis Mfune, paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joice Mujuru at her Munhumutapa Offices in Harare.

 

Mfune said SADC as a region is faced with image problems which are hindering the growth of tourism despite the natural tourist attractions and the rich culture on offer.

He said it is time individual countries like Zimbabwe stand up to correct their image through participating in carnivals and tourism expos in other countries.

 

The RETOSA Executive Director also took the opportunity to invite Vice President Mujuru who is also Zimbabwe’s tourism patron, to lead SADC in the Seychelles Carnival to be held early next month.

 

The Vice President commended RETOSA for the drive to market the region and individual countries but warned that the region should guard against being derailed by negative publicity from some quarters considering that SADC is rich in natural resources that require good marketing and packaging.

 

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi, told the Vice President that his Ministry, with the help of regional and World bodies such as RETOSA and UNWTO, is working to position Zimbabwe tourism as one of the best globally.

 

Last year, tourism contributed US$1,2 trillion globally, but sadly only US$800 million which translates to 2% is realised in Africa.

 

RETOSA is a SADC organ responsible for the development of tourism through promotion of the region. Presently Zimbabwe is chairing the organisation.