Partnership to improve lives and livelihoods through travel and tourism
JOHANNESBURG, August 13, 2015 – The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) and Sustainable Travel International have announced a leading-edge partnership to drive sustainable tourism development across Southern Africa. The main objective of this partnership is to assist governments, communities and businesses’ efforts to use travel and tourism as a driver for sustainable development across a region where over 72% of young people live in abject poverty.
Through this partnership, RETOSA will become the first organisation on the African continent to endorse and support the aims of the 10 MILLION BETTER industry-wide campaign, launched by Sustainable Travel International to monitor and scale up social, economic and environmental benefits from travel and tourism, with the goal of demonstrating tangible improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people by 2025.
“It is our mandate as a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution to transform the tourism sector to achieve these goals,” said Simba Mandinyenya, acting Executive Director of RETOSA. “In order to succeed, our member states require tools to better manage tourism development and to be able to track its impacts on environmental quality, livelihoods, education and training, well being, and so forth. Sustainable Travel International is helping to provide those valuable tools.”
“There is a new readiness and urgency to act together,” said Sustainable Travel International’s CEO, Dr. Louise Twining-Ward. “For the first time the tourism sector has a UN Mandate to shift towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. The time is now for the industry to come together with a clear vision and focus its enormous economic power on solid goals and metrics for improving lives. We are excited about our partnership with RETOSA, and look forward to working together with them to improve lives, promote economic equality and preserve the region’s rich natural resources and cultural traditions.”
About Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to improve lives and protect places through travel and tourism. A global non-profit and industry thought leader since 2002, Sustainable Travel International has helped communities, hotels, airlines, cruise lines and governments to plan responsibly—to chart their road maps for responsible growth so that they can contribute to the economic and social well-being of people around the globe whose lives and livelihoods depend on the world’s wanderlust.
Many of the world’s most popular travel destinations are threatened by interrelated problems including climate change, overcrowding and unsustainable development. Rather than address these challenges in isolation, Sustainable Travel International is convening like-minded travel and tourism leaders—destinations, companies, NGOs, and academics that are also determined to contribute to the long-term well-being of people and places most impacted by travel and tourism—to improve the lives of at least 10 million people by 2025. To achieve our goal, we are working across industries and geographies on comprehensive and holistic solutions that lead to long-term sustainability and collective impact through regional alliances in the Caribbean and Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa. Visit us at https://sustainabletravel.org to learn more.
The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution responsible for tourism growth and development across Angola, Botswana, D R Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The primary objective of RETOSA is to facilitate and promote the development of equitable and ethical tourism throughout the Southern African Region taking due consideration of the overall development of the people, vis-a-vis the Region’s natural and cultural resources. The organization works together with Member States’ Tourism Ministries, Tourism Boards and private sector partners to increase tourist arrivals to the region through sustainable development initiatives, improved regional competitiveness, and effective destination marketing. Visit us at http://www.retosa.co.za/ to learn more.