As a growth industry with socioeconomic impacts, tourism is of particular interest to SADC. In order to foster the tourism industry in Southern Africa for greater economic development of the region, SADC passed its Protocol on the Development of Tourism in the Southern African Development Community on 14th September 1998, which was amended on 8th September 2009.
The Protocol sets out SADC’s objective to build upon the region’s potential as a tourist destination. SADC intends to ensure even distribution of tourism development throughout the region and to create a favourable environment for tourism, thereby using tourism as a vehicle for socioeconomic development. To facilitate these plans, Member States agree to encourage private sector involvement in the industry through incentives, infrastructure, and a regulatory framework that encourages their participation.
As well, the Protocol establishes systems for facilitating travel to Southern Africa, training for industry workers, and marketing the region as a tourist destination. It also includes an institutional framework for implementing the Protocol, specifying committees, units, duties, and procedures relevant to improving tourism in the region.