The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is multi-faceted gem in single brilliant setting. It has diverse offerings that provide the tourist with never-ending magnificent natural and cultural experiences. A multi-country journey in this amazingly diverse region can be the perfect holiday or business trip. The depth and diversity of the product offerings across the 15 Member States can be packaged to appeal to both business and leisure travelers. Each destination offers everything from adventure to radiant beauty, sometimes cloaked in the mystery of past centuries.
The Southern Africa Member States are Angola, Botswana, DRC – Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Why limit oneself to travel in just one country when it makes much more sense to plan a trip that includes multi-country destinations, as many tourists are discovering long–haul travel that includes more than one country is a financial win-win proposition for both the traveler and the destinations. The tourist saves in travel costs by booking a number of regional places into one holiday, and the destinations spread the rewards of travel revenue across a broader region.
The most seasoned traveler will not be able to discover all that Southern Africa has on offer, but one has to always start somewhere. Therefore, the selection of multi-country destination travel for this week will be Angola. Among the “must-see” places in the country are Iona National Park which is the oldest and largest national park in the country. It covers just over 15,000 square kilometers of varying terrain and scenery and is naturally bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Other must-see places include Luanda’s beaches, Ilha do Cabo, Mussulo, Palmeirinhas, Corimba and Santiago, Lubango and the Leba Pass, and Kissama National Park. For more information, go to: www.angola.org
From Angola, tourists can easily visit Namibia. Wedged between the Kalahari and the South Atlantic, Namibia enjoys vast potential as one of the most unique and authentic tourist destinations in Africa. The country boasts in the Namib Desert, the highest sand dunes in the world, the striking Fish River Canyon, and one of Africa’s richest rock arts sites. For more information, go to: www.namibiatourism.com
SADC countries will together spend US$314 million between 2012 and 2017 to fund tourism projects in the region, and SADC has drawn projects earmarked over the next 5 years to prop up slow tourism growth in the bloc, according to the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.
Member States through the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) are also fostering tourism growth and development through a number of programs designed to widen the scope of stakeholder participation in the industry. These include educating aspiring entrepreneurs, youth, and women to ensure that the entire community directly benefits from the tourism industry. Furthermore, Member States’ tourism officials participate in capacity building and skills development programs in collaboration with international cooperating partners like the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), WES (Flemish government), and Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA).
Southern Africa invites discerning tourists, tour operators, and media to the SADC region to take back home as many stories and pictures as possible, and share these the world.
The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution responsible for tourism growth and development. In part, the aims of RETOSA are to increase tourist arrivals to the region through sustainable development initiatives, improved regional competitiveness, and effective destination marketing. The organization works together with Member States’ tourism ministries, tourism boards, and private sector partners. For more information about RETOSA, go to www.retosa.co.za