Published on : Monday, August 21, 2017
THE 2017 reed dance is shaping up to become another banner event for the Swaziland tourism industry. The tourism sector of the country expects a sustained growth momentum in the number of tourist arrivals.
The tourism sector is also doubtful if it will manage to beat last year’s figures which were backed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State Summit which coincided with the festival.
Between August 25 and 29 last year, the country recorded over 50 000 tourist arrivals. Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) Chief Executive Officer Eric Maseko said that although they are positive and expect the number of tourist arrivals to increase during the reed dance, the figures might not match up to last year’s level.
Maseko said, “Last year, the event took place alongside the SADC summit and focus was in the country, hence we recorded very good numbers. However, we do expect the numbers to increase compared to the previous years. But they might not be the same as last year.”
The festival is set to start on August 29, with the main day set to take place on September 4. Maseko said, “We have been working together with the ministry of home affairs, security officers, and accommodation places and we are positive that we are ready to welcome, host and give the tourists a splendid experience in the Kingdom.”
He urged all stakeholders and the nation to ensure that the country’s visitors enjoy the unique experience that the Kingdom offers.
“Our dream is in line with the First World 2022 status ambition. We want our establishments to match the standards of global establishments and that gap will be bridged through grading,” Maseko said.