As festive decorations and coloured lights adorn streets, shop windows and houses, we are met with a sense of exhilaration at the prospect of closing the chapter that was 2016. At the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA), it is with gratitude and pride that we reflect on the efforts of the past year. Twelve months of dedication has brought us closer to realising our vision of making Southern Africa a multi-faceted destination of choice in the world.
Together with our valued partners and member states RETOSA started the year with a couple of activities that were meant to capacitate member states and attended a couple of exhibitions and fairs in order to promote the region. RETOSA also hosted a couple of events and conferences that attracted quite a number of delegates within the region and outside such as Europe, Africa, Asia, Caribbean and South and North America. In the last months RETOSA hosted Southern Africa Sustainable Development Tourism conference and Southern Africa Women in Tourism conferences which attracted quite a number of participants within the region. RETOSA also hosted Social media and Digital Marketing workshops as per member states invitations in Malawi and Zimbabwe. All these programmes aim at taking much needed services to the people and in the process ensures that the region reaches its full potential in tourism development and job creation. We also saw the launch of E-learning programme which is aimed at giving knowledge of the region to our stakeholders so that they become certified experts in marketing region.
I humbly acknowledge that achievements such as these, coupled with the enthusiastic execution of our day-to-day operations were made possible through the supportive leadership of our Board of Directors and partners. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the RETOSA’s most valuable resource –citizens of the region. My fellow Southern Africans in the region and abroad at festive season is the time we pause to reflect on the goodness of God. It is the time when we will see many visitors/tourists visiting our countries and celebrating life in different ways. I know there are member states who will be hosting events that attract tourists within the region and from abroad let’s make them feel at home as their spending will boost our economies. For Southern Africans from the DIASPORA this is the time you come home to be with families, do enjoy your stay and hopefully you have come with friends so that we can share the warm abundance of life with them.
With only a few short weeks left until the festive break I warmly wish our staff and stakeholders a blessed time to be spent in the company of family, close friends and loved ones. The time has come to slow down the pace and take it easy, especially when you are travelling - life is precious. It is my wish that 2017 may bring with it abundant opportunities, great success and boundless personal growth. Le t’s all experience Southern Africa this festive season.
I wish for you a peaceful and happy festive season!