MEDIA INVITATION 6 OCTOBER 2009 REGIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (RETOSA) Exciting new beginnings for RETOSA to be highlighted at 42nd Board Meeting include the 2010 plans for the SADC body and its new mandate to promote tourism growth and development South Africa will host the 42nd Board meeting of the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) at the Fancourt Hotel in George, in the Western Cape on 21 October 2009. High on the agenda will be the Organizational restructuring and its significant implications for tourism in Southern Africa. RETOSA, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) body responsible for the promotion and marketing of tourism in 14 Southern African countries, will present its first Strategic Work Plan for Board approval since its restructuring over the past year. RETOSA Chair and Democratic Republic of Congo National Tourism Office Director General, Ms. Berthe Akatshi Osako, said restructuring within SADC institutions repositioned RETOSA under the Directorate of Infrastructure and Services, and provided it with more autonomy. “The repositioning effectively provides RETOSA with the mandate to transform the promotion of growth and development of tourism in the region. The body now has two new divisions: Marketing and Communications and Planning and Development. We are confident that the restructuring will lead to positive changes and significant benefits for all our member countries,” said Osako. Some of the initiatives launched under the new structure and to be discussed will be the regional tourism strategy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. RETOSA Executive Director Francis Mfune said the strategy would emphasize product quality improvement, grading and maintenance of globally competitive standards, safety and security of tourists and destination re-branding. He added that RETOSA’s 42nd board meeting marks a significant turn for the good for this body and the region. We look forward to a constructive time that will lead to long-term advantages on economic, social and environmental levels,” said Mfune. The 42nd RETOSA Board meeting will be preceded by a RETOSA Executive Committee meeting on 20 October 2009. The Executive Committee is responsible for the Tourism Policy issues of the region and is chaired by South Africa. Deputy Director-General for the Tourism in the National Department of Tourism Ms. Sindiswa Nhlumayo said the board and SADC stakeholders had very high expectations. She further said the Board will discuss actionable plans that will see imminent transformation, public sector facilitation and private sector participation that will ultimately lead to sustainable regional tourism development. Managed by representatives from national tourism authorities and private sector umbrella bodies in the SADC countries, RETOSA aims to turn tourism into a major economic driver for the region. Based in Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa, the body markets and promotes tourism in Southern
Africa in close cooperation with the regionâ€™s national tourist organizations and the private sector. Its strategic objectives include increasing the volumes of inbound tourism and the creation of investment awareness for tourism development in the region. The SADC countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A media briefing has been scheduled for 21 October at 9am at the Fancourt Hotel. Media enquiries can be referred to: Lizzy Suping at 012 310 3310/083 758 0553 or at LSuping@deat.gov.za and Adliana Bosman at 011 315 2420/1 or email@example.com.
For more information please visit www.retosa.co.za ISSUED JOINTLY BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM AND RETOSA.