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Eswatini to celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27

Eswatini Tourism Authority CEO Linda Nxumalo making remarks during the World Tourism Month launch.

By Silindzelwe Nxumalo

THE Kingdom of Eswatini is set to celebrate World Tourism Day on the 27th of September at Ngwenya Glass. This was announced by the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Moses Vilakati at the World Tourism Month Launch.

The launch was held at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology University under the theme “Tourism and Green Investments: Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity” on Thursday. Vilakati mentioned that this day would be closing off a series of activities throughout the month of September as a celebration of World Tourism Month, September.

He stated that within the context of this year’s theme, all the lined activities are set in place including clean-up campaigns. “There would also be green-themed educational platforms that will highlight the importance of investing in tourism in a way that benefits all stakeholders, including people and most importantly, the planet,” he said.

The minister mentioned that in the previous years, they had dedicated the month of September to heightening awareness of and encouraging national involvement in tourism’s proven ability to foster meaningful and sustainable change for the collective development of various communities and the upliftment of different social groups in Eswatini.

He explained the theme by stating that the people pillar of the 2023 theme was there to encourage people, especially the youth, to invest in sustainable, green-themed projects. He stated that some of the ways for youth to start green-themed projects for entrepreneurial purposes were through the identification of a problem or need, coming up with a solution, doing their research, creating a business plan, and getting funding to name but a few.

The Minister of Tourism Moses Vilakati visiting some of the stall at Limkokwing University of Technology.

Vilakati said some examples of green themed projects that youth could start for entrepreneurial purposes included a business that sells solar panels or other renewable energy products, a business that provides energy audits and consulting services, a business that recycles or composts waste, and a business that provides sustainable transportation options, such as bike rentals or car sharing.

The minister said on the planet pillar, he said for decades, the Government of Eswatini had been utilizing brown different sized envelopes clearly marked in bold, ‘Umhlaba Uyimphilo Yetfu – Wonge’. “This can be simply translated as “The soil is our greatest asset, help conserve it”. This was and still is a constant reminder that the environment is essential for our survival.

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It provides us with the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat,” he said. He explained that when people pollute the environment, they damage the natural systems that support life, and that climate change was one of the most pressing environmental challenges of their time. Vilakati said climate change was already having a devastating impact on the planet, and it was only going to get worse if people do not take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We need to conserve the planet if we want to ensure a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations,” he said. He mentioned that sustainable development was progress that met the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “It requires us to use resources wisely and to protect the environment. There are many things we can do to conserve the planet,” he said.

He stated that they could reduce their consumption of resources, recycle, and compost, and choose sustainable products and services, and could also support organizations like, for example, the Eswatini Environmental Authority (EEA) that had a mandate to protect and conserve the environment. The minister further alluded to the importance of investing in prosperity by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in green-themed projects as a great way to create a sustainable future.

He said some of the ways to do this included providing funding and support for green entrepreneurs, creating a favorable regulatory environment for green businesses, and investing in education and training in green technologies.

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