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Charting a course for sustainable tourism economies
Charting a course for sustainable tourism economies
DURBAN (KZN) - Tourism practitioners from across globe met for a two-day workshop to share best practice models, and engage on the methodologies that have the potential to shape the future of sustainable tourism economies in developing countries. 

Hosted by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Best Practice Workshop sought to highlight importance of policy and planning strategies in addressing the challenges that affect tourism development.

Speaking at the workshop, the Director General of Tourism Mr Victor Tharage emphasised the need for countries to develop integrated strategies in lieu of the global demands levelled on tourism to deliver on addressing socio-economic challenges, and in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Tourism’s ability to create employment opportunities, and transform economies is a reality that is rapidly being embraced by the global community.”

“As the demand for tourism to deliver on creating economic opportunities rises, pressure is mounting on countries to develop strategies that will enable the industry to meet the demand, and ensure its sustainability.”

“Our shared quest to see tourism become a critical economic driver in our respective countries has brought us together today.  Let us leverage on the opportunity we have at the Best Practice Workshop to share innovating ways that will aid us in charting a new path for sustainable tourism development,” said Tharage. 

According to the UNWTO and IPSOS online survey conducted across 15 countries and targeting 12,000 people, more that 50% of the participants believe that tourism has a large impact on wealth and income generation. Despite the positive sentiment, there is a growing need for tourism to be managed in a manner that is beneficial to both visitors and local communities.

“Tourism is a people based activity that thrives on authentic experiences that are imparted by the people in our communities.”

 “As we strive to grow our tourism numbers and economies, we should ensure that the communities wherein we implement our strategies enjoy the socio-economic gains of tourism,” concluded Tharage. 

BACKGROUND: The Best Practice Workshop is an annual event that emanates from requests made to the Department of Tourism by countries seeking training on areas in the field of tourism development. The workshop has now become an integral part of the implementation of the signed Agreements or Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) in the field of tourism. 

Enquiries:

Mr Blessing Manale
Chief Director: Communications
Department of Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)12 444 6607
Cell: +27 (0)66 487 8867