he Mauritius Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Micheal Yeung Sik Yuen, opened the 48th session of the RETOSA Board Meeting in Mauritius. RETOSA, the grouping of Southern Africa countries committed to the continued development of tourism, is this year meeting at Grand Baie in Mauritius for their Board Meeting and for the SADC Tourism Ministers Meeting.
Addressing the delegates, Minister Yeung Sik Yuen warmly welcomed the presence of the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, to the RETOSA Board official opening and said that this meeting is hosted at an opportune time when “tourism worldwide is facing the full brunt of the Euro Zone crisis, resulting in shrinking demand from Europe and acute completion from emerging tourist destinations.”
In his opening remarks, Minister Micheal Yeung Sik Yuen stressed on the international recognition of the Southern African region as an international market” but said that this region “has not succeeded in realizing its full potential.”
According to the Minister Yeung Sik Yuen, this is due to the fact that “the South African region has not yet developed and packaged a regional product that is attractive, easily accessible, and exceeds market expectation.”
Minister Yeung Sik Yuen said that he remains convinced that travel and tourism can become a potent force in Southern Africa.
“SADC governments have recognized the far-reaching potential of tourism in social and economic development; we members of RETOSA, have to make sure that this potential is realized,” Minister Yeung Sik Yuen said.
The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism, Alain St.Ange, said to the press following the Official Opening of the 2012 RETOSA Board that “Seychelles’ vision is to continue to work with Africa, as it is a region with emerging economies, and RETOSA should be in a position to offer to its Member States the platform to fully promote tourism industry in this region.”
Seychelles is being represented in this RETOSA Board Meeting by the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, and the Seychelles Tourism Board Manager for Johannesburg in South Africa, Marsha Parcou.