By: Bongiwe Zwane-Maseko
The Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA) has embraced this year’s World Tourism Day theme ‘Rethinking Tourism.’
This was said by Chief Executive Officer Linda Nxumalo at the commemoration of this day. Marketing Officer Chunkie Mdluli represented the CEO. “It is no secret that much has changed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In Eswatini, we have had to reimagine our approach to tourism by focusing inwardly. This has meant prioritising EmaSwati’s knowledge of the country’s tourism products so that we all become custodians of the country’s tourism offerings. We thank you, captains of industry, for your admirable responsiveness and agility towards promoting Eswatini as a destination of choice locally, regionally, and Internationally,” she said.
She added that over and above that, the tourism sector has been identified as a strategic pillar in the country’s economic recovery. Therefore, they have had to set new targets to meet the growing demands and changes in tourism. “In this regard, Rethinking Tourism is a call to reinvent and reinvest in our industry. This is why the ETA has been intentional about pursuing cooperative marketing initiatives that also focus on empowering the youth who are the future of our Industry’s sustainability and success. A brilliant example of this is the recently-revived Triland Agreement which has put local tour operators at the forefront of our Eswatini marketing efforts for their proven ability to package Destination Eswatini to the domestic and regional markets. Triland is a tourism initiative spearheaded by the Governments of Eswatini, Mozambique, and Mpumalanga Province that seeks to promote cooperation on the positioning of Triland as a preferred tourism, trade, and investment destination,” said the CEO.
Collaboration encouraged by this year’s theme, the ETA is pleased to be working closely with the Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency (MTPA) and Mozambique’s tourism board, INATUR through the Triland Agreement to market the Eswatini-Mpumalanga-Mozambique route as the region’s destination of choice.
“We implore all stakeholders to leverage this opportunity in re-engaging our key source markets, South Africa, and Mozambique. The ETA applauds the remarkable efforts made by the HOTAES for applying the utmost dedication, sheer resilience, and admirable creativity in expanding Eswatini’s tourism product offerings. We believe that the future of tourism is collaborative, innovative, and digital, and as always, we stand ready to continue working closely towards maintaining the country’s image as ‘one of the world’s best countries’ as lauded by renowned international tourism agency, Lonely Planet,” said Nxumalo.