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Agreement to cooperate
South Africa and Lesotho sign agreement to cooperate on tourism
The South African government has enjoyed a long-standing diplomatic relationship with the Kingdom of Lesotho. The signing of the five-year Agreement (automatic renewable after every five years) on cooperation in the field of tourism between South Africa and Lesotho today is yet another expression of the good relations that exist between the two countries.
 
The agreement seeks to strengthen and deepen cooperation in the field of tourism from both countries. It also acknowledges the contribution that tourism makes in growing the economies of both countries and creating employment opportunities. A governance structure i.e. a Joint Technical Committee will be established to monitor the implementation of the agreement and will be working closely with the existing structures.
 
In April 2001, South Africa and Lesotho signed the Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation (JBCC) agreement. The JBCC constitutes an important basis for the ongoing process of consolidating relations between the two countries. Since 2001, there has been significant cooperation between most government departments of the two counties, on a sectoral basis. In 2008, a Bilateral Coordinating Committee was established under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho in respect of the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area. To date there are projects that are implemented through this agreement.
 
The signed agreement will contribute to the regional integration agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union. According to the South African Tourism annual report of 2011, there was overall growth of 6.9% (395 466) of tourists arrival figures from Africa mainland markets, with tourist arrivals from Lesotho growing by 19.7% (250 759) between 2010 and 2011. Tourism expenditure from Africa land market was an estimated R12.5 billion in Q3 2011, an increase of 9.8% from R11.4 billion in Q3 2010. Driving the growth in tourism expenditure was a 23.1% (R0.9 billion) increase in shopping for goods for business use among tourists from this region.
 
The broad areas of cooperation will focus on the following:
 
Exchange of Information: both countries will share and exchange information and best practices in the field of tourism.
Marketing, promotion and investment: both countries will jointly market and promote investment opportunities in the two destinations; they will also ensure co-operation between the two destination marketing authorities.
 
Study Tours: both countries will facilitate study tours to their respective tourism institutions
Cross-Border Tourist Movements: both countries will closely work together to enhance tourist movement in between the countries
Cooperation in Multi lateral fora: both countries will collaborate and share information related to their achievements at multi-lateral forums
 
Senior government officials from both countries will develop an implementation plan focusing on the areas of collaboration, and regularly review progress in the implementation of this Agreement. 
 
For more information, please contact:
 
National Department of Tourism
Trevor Bloem
Chief Director: Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 12 444 6607
Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729
 
Mpumi Simelane
National Department of Tourism
Tel: +27 (0) 12 444 6612
Cell: +27 (0) 82 354 1510
 
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM