Southern African tourism chiefs team up for partnerships


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (eTN) – Confirming to attend the long-awaited meeting of a leading organization in Southern Africa, several high-profile tourism chiefs from the Southern African region have confirmed their attendance at the Board of Directors Meeting of the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) to be held in Arusha at the end of February.

The RETOSA meeting was organized jointly by Tanzania’s ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), and the Tanzania National Parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) in collaboration with regional governments.

The meeting is expected to bring together senior government officials and tourism and travel trade leaders to pitch and discuss tourism investment opportunities and partnerships across Southern African member states.

Africa, which was the only region to record positive figures in 2009, saw a growth of 6 percent in tourism, where 49 million tourists visited the continent during the 2010 business year as a result of relatively stable economic figures and events such as the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.

Tourism is, therefore, recognized to be one of Africa’s greatest economic sectors, but the most under-invested.

Commenting on the meeting, Amant Macha, the director of for the Tanzania Tourist Board said, “We are extremely pleased with the caliber of this year’s attendees. The figures clearly demonstrate that tourism in Southern Africa represents a great opportunity for investors, and providing a platform for such high-profile leaders to improve investor interest in the region’s fast-growing tourism sector.”

The RETOSA meeting will take place in Arusha city in northern Tanzania from February 28 to March 2 this year.

Arusha is a popular tourist destination and is home to the famed mountains of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and the Serengeti National Park, to name a few.

The city is targeting tourism as a major sector for growth, in addition to other economic activities including agriculture and mining.

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