Building capacity to help Africa trade better

International regulatory cooperation in the SADC tourism services sector

Trade Briefs

International regulatory cooperation in the SADC tourism services sector

Registration to the tralac website is required to download publications.

The tourism sector makes a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of all Member States in the Southern African Development Community. It is an important provider of employment and offers endless opportunities to especially small, medium and micro enterprises. If governments could remove existing blockages and inefficiencies hampering competitiveness of the tourism sector, it can become an even stronger driver of economic growth and development.

In a combined effort to promote and market the SADC region as a single destination, the Members adopted the SADC Protocol on the Development of Tourism. The Protocol aims to address some of the issues negatively affecting the sector through a mix of best endeavour provisions and legally binding obligations. On the one hand, it encourages Members to harmonise training programmes and develop exchange programmes; and, to abolish visa requirements and implement a UNIVISA. On the other hand, it obliges Members to develop common standards for service providers and tourism facilities; collect and share tourism statistical data in line with international guidelines to facilitate the upgrade and development of tourism products and services in the tourism value chain; and, to improve the quality of tourism transport through the implementation of the provisions of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology.

This paper explores ways in which SADC Members can achieve the objectives of the Protocol on the Development of Tourism by increasing regulatory cooperation amongst them. It also highlights shortcomings in existing SADC legal frameworks that are hampering the implementation of shared tourism objectives and makes recommendations on how it could be addressed in the ongoing negotiations under the Protocol on Trade in Services.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010