The election of Zimbabwe as chair to the Regional Tourism Organisation for Southern Africa (RETOSA) has been hailed as an honor to the country as this will afford the country the chance in the formulation of policy in packaging the region as a single tourism destination.
The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa is a concept that brings together 15 African countries â€“ Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to offer a unique opportunity to discover the natural wonders and splendors of the region â€“ the infinite contrasts of scenery, climate, color, traditions, culture and the spirit of Africa.
With Zimbabwe having recently been elected to chair RETOSA, hopes are high that this signifies and ushers the country in a new era in its drive to restore tourism as one of the four pillars of economic development.
Giving an analysis of such an honor, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Dr Sylvester Maunganidze said if sustainably developed, tourism offers SADC countries the opportunity to drive economic growth and boost job creation through increasing export earnings and attract inward investment as well alleviating poverty by stimulate rapid economic development.
Dr Maunganidze said Zimbabwe as the current chair of RETOSA will try to address challenges that face tourism in the region such as the provision of accurate and reliable tourism statistics and information necessary for investment and business decisions, lack of adequate information on internationally acceptable standards of service in tourism operations, gaps in infrastructure and the need for major investment in facilities as well as poor international flight frequency.
The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) body responsible for the promotion and Marketing of Tourism in the region.
The organisation is managed by a Board drawn from National Tourism Authorities/Boards and National Tourism private sector umbrella bodies in the SADC countries.Â