Home » General » SADC Urged to Promote Youth Tourism

Southern African Development Community members states have been urged to promote the involvement of youths in the tourism sector to ensure their active participation and reduce unemployment.A visiting Zambian-based Youth Bridge Foundation programmes consultant Dr Chris Abrahams told stakeholders at a fund-raising dinner held in Harare this week that youth participation in the tourism sector can help build entrepreneurial skills and reduce high unemployment rates in the region.

“We want Zambia and Zimbabwe including other Sadc countries to create opportunities for youth involvement in the tourism sector,” he said. “Youths in Zambia and Zimbabwe should also be proactive and network amongst themselves to share experiences.”

Active participation of the youth in the tourism sector, Dr Abrahams said, could help empower the youth and offer them hope for the future.

“The youth are the backbone of any nation and they are the ones who sustain that nation. Giving them space to participate can enhance their capacity to develop entrepreneurial skills,” he said.

Dr Abrahams called for closer collaboration between the youths in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“By working together, we can share experiences and learn from each other,” he said.

Dr Abrahams and other youths from Zambia were in the country to support fundraising efforts to support travel and accommodation costs for 25 young Zimbabweans who intend to participate at this year’s inaugural Southern Africa Youth in Tourism Conference to be held next month in Mauritius.

The conference was being organised under the auspices of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (Retosa), a regional tourism body, whose mandate is to promote and market tourism in the Sadc region.

Zimbabwe youth co-ordinator for Retosa activities, Mrs Catherine Masunda said plans were at an aanced stage to ensure that Zimbabwean youths attended the conference as a means of facilitating youth involvement in the development of tourism in the region.

“We are appealing to the corporate world to support us so that we may use the opportunity granted us to showcase our country and attract tourists,” she said.

Zimbabwe will be sending 25 youths to Mauritius where they will be participating in different topics starting from essay writing and presenting project proposals focused on tourism in their countries to lobby for the hosting of the 2015 congress.

The conference is set to be held from September 25 to 26.

Source : The Herald

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