40 delegates to converge in Seychelles for 2012 RETOSA meeting

40 delegates to converge in Seychelles for 2012 RETOSA meeting

Over forty delegates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have confirmed their attendance to the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) board meeting to be held in the Seychelles from July 11-13, 2012.

The 49th RETOSA board meeting will be represented by member states of SADC, with the exception of tabling issues relating to regional tourism growth and strategy for the region.

The Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, said that Seychelles’ hosting of Routes Africa from July 8-10, which will be followed closely by RETOSA July 11-12, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Ministers&Chief Executives Meeting, and that of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), will further raise Seychelles’ profile as one of the incentive travel destinations in the world.

“Although Seychelles is a small nation with limited resources, it has proven the ability to host major and mega events such as the now reputable Carnaval International de Victoria, which was co-hosted by Seychelles and La Reunion in March 2012. Seychelles will now be hosting two major important events - Routes Africa&the RETOSA board meeting, which will group a high-level delegation of more than two hundred participants from Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean. These events will help put the region on the map, but they are set to also promote Seychelles as a Meeting, Incentive, Conferences and Events (MICE) destination and create job opportunities,” Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said.

The 49th RETOSA board meeting will table issues relating to regional tourism growth and strategy for the region. Delegates of the fourteen RETOSA member states such as Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Mauritius will also discuss issues pertaining to Regional Integration, focusing on regional tourism growth infrastructure&development, as well as a tourism master plan for the region for 2012 and beyond.

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Prior to the official opening of the 49th RETOSA board meeting, delegates will meet for the Executive Committee meeting chaired by Mauritius and represented by other RETOSA member countries including Seychelles, DR Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The two-day RETOSA board meeting, according to Marsha Parcou, the Seychelles Tourism Board Regional Manager for Africa, who has spearheaded for the first time ever the organizing of this event in Seychelles, said that the RETOSA meeting will allow Seychelles to “present itself as a great opportunity to showcase what it has to offer, especially to our neighboring countries and the rest of the world in terms of Seychelles’ uniqueness and its diversification of products.”

It will be tourism time in Seychelles as members of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and that of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) will also meet in Seychelles at the same time as delegates of Routes Africa and RETOSA for their respective meetings on July 7.