According to the 2030 Vision of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), the expected tourism arrivals for Southern Africa or the SADC Region are approximately half those estimated for Africa. The growth rate for the SADC (South African Development Community) Region, estimated by WTO for the next 20 years, is slightly better than that of the continent overall, namely a 7.5% growth rate per annum compared to one of 5.5%. The travel and tourism sector remains a critical economic sector worldwide and one that provides significant potential for economic growth and development. A growing travel and tourism sector contributes to improved employment, thereby raising national income.
While the regional governments mainly fund RETOSA’s activities, the intention is for the private sector to gradually take over this function. RETOSA has been reformed to require its operational programmes to be refocused towards Policy and Strategic issues and devolve marketing functions to the national tourism boards of the SADC member states. www.retosa.co.za