The 1st Annual Sustainable Tourism Development Conference, hosted by RETOSA in partnership with the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Program (STPP), took place form the 16 to the 17 November at the CedarWoods Hotel in Johannesburg.
The conference aimed at becoming the catalyst to trigger a lasting Sustainable Tourism dialogue within the Southern African region. Member States shared Sustainable Tourism knowledge and experiences; gain exposure to international best practices as well as utilize the forum as a means of generating annual progress reports to ascertain levels of development and implementation of Sustainable Tourism within Member States.
The Conference was targeted at stakeholders within Sustainable Tourism, namely; SMMEs, private sector, public sector, tourism boards, ministries, NGOs and Sustainable Tourism experts.
It was structured in a workshop format, with panel discussions and interaction between participants being at the core of the proceedings. Some of the key topics that were addressed are as follows:
· Community Based Tourism (CBT) in Southern Africa
· Fair Trade in Tourism and Quality Standards
· TFCAs (Transfrontier Conservation Areas) Development in Southern Africa
· The State of Sustainable Tourism: Focus on both the Private sector and Public sector
· Climate change resilience and mitigation measures, and natural resource management
· Optional site visit/tour on the last day of the Conference
Given the significance of the theme of the conference it has garnered support from all corners of the world, and among key speakers and organizations that were represented at the Conference are outlined below: