Deputy Director in the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Philip Chitaunga pointed out that the contribution of tourism industry in the 16 SADC member translating into over 125 trillion/- per annum and commands an average of 8.2 Gross Domestic Product among the countries.
Tourism sector for SADC states also brings into the region foreign earnings amounting to US $ 18 billion per year, which is equivalent to over 40 trillion/-. “That is nearly 10 percent of all foreign currencies earned in the region,” said Chitaunga.
He was addressing the press at the threshold of the forthcoming meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for Tourism, Wildlife, Environment and Natural Resources from the Southern Africa Development Community member states which convene in Arusha next week.
South-Africa tops the SADC bill in tourism earnings, while Tanzania ranks second in raking more money from the industry within the community.
But when it comes to earnings from individual tourists’ earning it is Madagascar which leads the pack and again Tanzania takes the second slot.
Starting next Monday, the five-day events will bring together more than 500 delegates from the 16 SADC countries who are to gather in the city between the 18th and 25th of October 2019.
Trans-frontier Conservation Areas that play a critical role in conservation as well as issues of supporting biodiversity through the provision of extended, contiguous protected areas will be part of the agendas of the forthcoming meeting.
When it comes to environment, the SADC member states jointly address Natural Resources issues within the Southern African region by focusing on four key Trans-frontier Conservation Areas including Forests; Wildlife; Water; Fisheries.
The SADC Ministerial meeting in Arusha will also address the issue of Water resources now that it has been described as fundamental and scarce means in the region that requires regional cooperation to accommodate competing needs for water allocation, use and water quality management, as well as hydroelectric power generation.
But alongside water, SADC ministers find fisheries to be the future and reliable food supply but which calls for improved handling and processing, aquaculture to be able to form yet another poverty alleviating industry.