The Ministry of Economic Planning & Development says the country’s tourism sector is poised for double-digit growth for the remainder of the year.
The Ministry disclosed this information in the Eswatini Medium-Term Economic Growth Forecast (2023-2026). The Statement was issued by Minister Dr. T. Gina.
“In line with global trends, tourism activities are expected to continue growing at double digits and reach at least 70 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2023.”
The Ministry attributes the growth to national events that are currently taking place and that will occur as the year winds down.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati when launching World Tourism Month last week revealed that events that took place in the country over the first week of September drew over 26,000 tourists.
Noteworthy events that took place in the aforementioned period include the Annual Umhlanga Reed Dance ceremony, the Eswatini International Trade Fair (EITF), and the Swazi Rally, among a host of others.
As a result of this boom, accommodation occupancy rates were significantly boosted. He noted that the overall room occupancy rate increased by 9.9% in 2023, which translated to 75%.
In terms of which countries visited the most, Vilakati divulged that South Africa accounted for 69.8% followed by Mozambique at 12.8%, and Zimbabwe at 3.9%. China, the Netherlands, and the USA all averaged 1.2% over the aforementioned period.
Interestingly, His Majesty King Mswati III when opening this year’s EITF noted that the country should open closed hotels and accommodation places, as well as complete ongoing hospitality projects.
“I have also been reliably informed that most hospitality places that provide accommodation are fully booked due to the ongoing activities in the country. This is an indication that as a country we must consider expanding and improving our hospitality sector, particularly adding more places that provide accommodation to tourists,” the King noted when delivering his speech.