Regional tourism organisation for Southern African countries (Retosa) meeting-Seychelles to raise profile in the region


Delegates in a souvenir photograph after the meeting

The Seychelles Tourism Board’s (STB) chief executive Elsia Grancourt said this after the Retosa board meeting on Thursday afternoon at the International Conference Centre.

The two-day conference, which was for the first time being hosted here by the STB, was attended by a group of high level delegation which included delegates from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Swaziland and Tanzania. Mauritius, Lesotho and Botswana did not have any representatives and Madagascar is still on suspension.

The meeting was chaired by F. Matsinha, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Tourism in Mozambique.

Seychelles was officially welcomed as the newest member of the Retosa at its 46th meeting which was held in Zambia.

Mrs Grandcourt said these delegates put forward issues relating to regional tourism growth and strategy for the region.

She added that Seychelles is a new member of the organisation and has managed to settle on a minimal fee of around US $5000 annually for its membership.

“Our country is set to benefit from the marketing aspects of this relation with other countries in the region,” she said.

Mrs Grandcourt explained that for example a tourist can start its holiday in another African country which is a member of the Retosa and then come here to complete the trip.

Jeremias Manussa of Mozambique said the meeting was also based on how we can best market the region to the world by tapping into the Chinese and Indian markets which are the emerging economies.

He also described Seychelles as one of the marvels of the world and a tourism destination which is unique in itself.

In her welcoming remarks, Mrs Matsinha reminded the delegates of the objectives of the organisation.

“It is to ease rapid growth of regional tourism, in the process to spread economic development as well as to reduce poverty across Southern Africa.”

She said it was established in 1997 through the charter with a special focus on marketing and promoting the region as a tourism destination.