Triland agreement set to re-ignite tourism between South Africa and neighbouring countries of Eswatini and Mozambique

Friday, August 26, 2022

MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Vusi Mkhatshwa, says the TRiLand agreement between South Africa, the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Mozambique will put muscles behind the three (3) countries’ efforts to bolster tourism, and eventually mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the tourism industry in the region. The MEC said this during the week-long TRiLand Tour Operators Familiarisation Expedition to the Kingdom of Eswatini, Republic of Mozambique and South Africa, from 15-21 August 2022.

The TRiLand Familiarisation Expedition comes hot on the heels of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), termed the TRiLand Agreement between the three countries, at the Africa’s Travel and Tourism Indaba in Durban in May this year. The Agreement seeks to promote tourism, given the geographical location and rich history that connects the three (3) countries. The TRiLand Regional Brand is an initiative that was conceptualised by the three (3) countries’ tourism agencies; namely, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA), and the Mozambique Tourism Board (INATUR), with the aim of promoting the three countries as one destination for tourism, trade and investment in the SADC region.

“The main purpose of the TRiLand Tour Operators Familiarisation Expedition was to collectively promote and advance tourism within the region, for the benefit of the people of the three (3) countries and beyond. This will in turn create the much-needed job opportunities for our people, and further ensure that the fight against the three triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty is conquered, so that the living conditions of our people are improved”, explained Mr Mkhatshwa.

Among others, it is anticipated that the TRiLand agreement will bolster the following economic development activities among the three (3) countries:

  • Regional integration towards common goals;
  • Employment creation and economic growth;
  • Sustainable and responsible tourism development;
  • Bio-diversity conservation and protection of natural resources;
  • Preservation of culture and heritage; and
  • Joint marketing of the region as a preferred international tourism destination

Speaking on the side-lines of the visit to the Samora Machel Monument in Mbuzini, Mpumalanga, MEC Mkhatshwa said: “I am excited about this agreement, precisely because it will help the three countries in their quest to reignite tourism in our respective countries. This familiarisation expedition comes at a time when we are still trying to bring the tourism sector to its former glory, after the devastating global COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement will contribute towards incorporating the region and its common economic development goals, that seeks to create employment opportunities, and enhance dual alliance in the conservation and safeguarding of biodiversity, as well as protecting our cultural values, heritage and ultimately our national pride.

“Given our geographic location, it was important for the three countries to concretise tourism promotion strategies that seek to benefit the three countries. I can tell you now, without fear of contradiction, that it is possible for a tourist to have breakfast in Mozambique, proceed to enjoy the African cuisine in the Kingdom of Eswatini and have dinner in South Africa, in our Province – Mpumalanga – all in one day. As Mpumalanga, we believe that the TRiLand Regional Brand signals our country and in particular, our Province’s commitment to contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth and development in Africa, in relation to tourism. I’m strongly convinced that we all agree that the partnership we are celebrating this evening, is a sign of our collective commitment towards contributing to building ‘A Better SADC Region; A Better Africa; and A Better World’ for all who live in it”, explained Mkhatshwa when welcoming the expedition team to Mpumalanga.

The tourism authorities from the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Peoples Republic of Mozambique have reaffirmed their commitment to the TRiLand agreement, and further assured to unleash the necessary resources to boost tourism within the region.

“I must also emphasise that the TRiLand Tour Operators Familiarisation Expedition, which has brought us together over the last few days, is one but a very important element of the TRiLand Implementation Plan.  Therefore working together, we can do more to promote tourism in our region, and create the much-needed job opportunities for the people of our respective countries,” concluded MEC Mkhatshwa.