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The Kingdom of Eswatini

ETA charts course for a sustainable future with Industry Stakeholders

The Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA), a government parastatal under the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, recently held a strategic engagement workshop to bolster the nation’s tourism industry and ensure its contribution to positive and lasting change.

The workshop, held at The Royal Villas Eswatini, saw the attendance Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs officials, Parliament House of Assembly and Senate Tourism Portfolio Committee members, government ministries officials, tour operators, Hospitality and Tourism Association of Eswatini (HOTAES) and other key stakeholders. This collaborative effort brought together key stakeholders from across the tourism sector, fostering an environment for open discussion and brainstorming.

This workshop presented a remarkable opportunity for ETA to collaboratively chart the course for the strategic direction to be taken by the country. ETA and stakeholders engaged in insightful discussions, explored innovative ideas and contributed to the crafting a robust strategy that would propel Eswatini’s tourism sector to even greater heights. Through open dialogue and innovative thinking, the aim was to develop a clear roadmap for guiding efforts in promoting Eswatini as a world-class tourist destination, fostering sustainable practices and empowering all stakeholders within the industry.

The ETA’s mandate is to spearhead the sustainable development of tourism in Eswatini. ETA is committed to:

Showcasing Eswatini’s unique offerings to the world:We will work tirelessly to promote Eswatini’s rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty and diverse tourism experiences on a global scale.

Fostering industry growth:We will collaborate with stakeholders across the tourism sector to create an environment that encourages responsible tourism investment and business development.

Uplifting local communities:Tourism development should benefit all Swazis. We are committed to ensuring local communities actively participate in and derive meaningful benefits from tourism growth.

The workshop centered around several key topics:

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: A thorough assessment of Eswatini’s tourism industry was conducted, pinpointing its current strengths and areas for improvement. This analysis is crucial for crafting a future-oriented strategy.

Sustainability in Focus: A particular emphasis was placed on sustainable practices within the tourism sector. Discussions explored ways to minimise environmental impact, promote responsible tourism and ensure the long-term viability of Eswatini’s natural attractions.

Community Upliftment: The workshop acknowledged the importance of empowering local communities and ensuring they benefit from tourism growth. Strategies were explored to create economic opportunities for local residents and integrate them into the tourism experience.

Collaboration is Key: A recurring theme throughout the workshop was the need for strong collaboration between all stakeholders in the tourism industry. Open communication and coordinated efforts were identified as essential for achieving shared goals.

Charting the Future: Through interactive sessions, participants helped develop a roadmap for the future of Eswatini’s tourism sector. This strategy is expected to guide the industry’s development in the coming years, ensuring its contribution to a thriving economy, environmental well-being, and a positive social impact.

To accelerate growth within the tourism sector, Government has committed to advancing public private partnerships (PPP) aimed at enhancing tourism product development and diversification. Achieving this will require a conscious and continuous commitment to rethinking and reinvesting in tourism. Furthermore, as a priority sector in Eswatini’s National Development Strategy (NDS), it is imperative that tourism continues to be recognised as an instrument for investment (FDI) consequently stimulating entrepreneurial activity and employment opportunities. His Majesty’s Government recognises the immense value of tourism to the growth of our economy. The presence of the Ministry in the workshop is evidence that the Government is firmly committed to supporting the industry’s growth and development. Its commitment is reflected in several key areas:

Policy and Regulation: His Majesty’s Government is actively working on refining tourism policies and regulations to create a conducive environment for investment and business operations.

Infrastructure Development: Investments in infrastructure are ongoing, focusing on improving transportation networks, enhancing communication connectivity and upgrading tourism facilities.

Marketing and Promotion: The Eswatini Government, through the Eswatini Tourism Authority, is actively promoting Eswatini as a premier tourist destination through targeted marketing campaigns and participation in regional and international tourism events. The Eswatini Government is also well aware of the importance of sustainable tourism practices. Its goal is to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental preservation. It encourages the development of eco-tourism initiatives, responsible waste management practices and the promotion of cultural heritage. The Eswatini Tourism Authority’s leadership expressed optimism about the outcomes of the workshop. They believe the collaborative approach will lead to a more robust and sustainable tourism industry, benefitting both Eswatini’s natural environment and its local communities.

The Eswatini Tourism Authority CEO, Vusie Dlamini expressed that the strategy engagement workshop marked a significant step forward for Eswatini’s tourism sector. By prioritising sustainability, community engagement and collaborative efforts, the industry is well-positioned to drive positive change and ensure a bright future for Eswatini’s tourism industry. ‟ETA expresses its appreciation to our stakeholders present on the workshop; the support is truly appreciated. As we work together, we hope to ensure that Eswatini becomes a leading tourist destination. A destination that offers an unforgettable and enriching experience for all visitors, while also fostering sustainable development for our nation”, Dlamini said.

Eswatini Tourism Authority continues to drive its mandate to encourage responsible travel in the Kingdom of Eswatini and promotes Eswatini as a preferred destination.