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Memorandum of Understanding
South Africa and Lesotho sign agreement to cooperate on tourism
The Republics of South Africa and Zimbabwe today signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the view to deepen cooperation in the field of tourism. Both countries acknowledge the contribution that tourism makes in growing their respective economies and creating employment opportunities.
 
South Africa and Zimbabwe cooperate under the umbrella of the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) which was signed in 1995. In July 2008 and January 2009, Cabinet Lekgotlas took a decision that South Africa should undertake a high-level Bilateral Political and Economic engagement with Zimbabwe following the formation of a unity government to support the reconstruction of that country. In responding to the Cabinet Lekgotla’s decision, the Department of Tourism started negotiations with the Ministry of Tourism of Zimbabwe to conclude the MoU in the field of tourism.
 
The MoU sets out the general framework for the promotion and increase of tourism exchanges and cooperation between the countries for their mutual benefit, and in accordance with the domestic law in both countries. Promotion and strengthening of public and private sector collaboration are amongst the important areas of cooperation between the two countries.
 
The broad areas of cooperation focus on the following:
Heritage and Cultural Tourism:  both countries will share best practices on integrating culture and heritage into tourism.
Tourism Investment: both countries will identify tourism investment opportunities that will create employment opportunities for their nationals and implement joint capital investment and entrepreneurship in the field of tourism.
Research, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation:  both countries will collaborate and share expertise in the area of research, policy planning and monitoring.
 
Marketing and Promotion Programmes:  both countries will share expertise in marketing and promotion programmes; they will also jointly create platforms for marketing of tourism offerings available in both countries.
 
Quality Assurance:  both countries will develop common standards in respect of tourism products and facilities and services and will harmonise the grading and classification procedures.
 
Human Resources Development:  both countries will facilitate exchange of professionals in the field of tourism and will share expertise in the promotion of human resource development in the tourism sector.
 
Sustainable Tourism Development: both countries shall promote and practise sustainable and responsible tourism in accordance with regional and international standards, sharing expertise on how best to position each country as a sustainable tourism destination.
 
The signed MoU will contribute to and strengthen regional integration as an agenda for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as 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 Zimbabwe growing by 2.6% (39 294) 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. Governance mechanisms to oversee the implementation of the actions related to the content of the MoU have been put in place and officials from both countries will meet twice a year to report on progress and also review progress made.
 
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 MoU.
 
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