South Sudan commemorates World Tourism Day
By Mabor Riak Magok
The Ministry of Wild life Conservation and Tourism today joins the rest of the world to commemorate International Tourism Day under the theme “Sustainable tourism for development as a tool.”
Charles Yosam Acire, the Undersecretary in a press statement yesterday said the day is dedicated to explore the contribution of tourism to the sustainable development goals.
He said South Sudan has abundant tourism resources comprising of wildlife, fauna and flora, which in most parts is outstanding.
There are many natural features such as the Imotong Mountains, the country’s highest peak, the Fulla rapids, the diverse ecological zones which range from lowland forest, Savannah ecosystem, Sudd wetland, mountain forest and semi-arid areas.
Acire said it is important to venture in the tourism potentials of Fulla rapids, Beden, Didinga ranges, Dongoton, Lopit and Imotong Mountains which collectively offer possibilities for certain tourism activities such as water rafting, hiking, rock climbing among others.
“These have given the country special features of tourist destination,” he said.
He said marking of the World Tourism Day is to foster awareness about the importance of tourism especially its social, cultural, political and economic values towards national development, poverty alleviation, as well as creating good atmosphere for the international community to invest in tourism in South Sudan.
He said due to budget limitation, shortage of tourism infrastructure and trained personnel together with continues insecurity since 2013; it becomes difficult to promote tourism activities.
“However there is still hope that tourism industry will play a big role to stimulate the economic growth if peace is attained fully,” he said.
The official celebration of World Tourism Day for this year will be held in Qatar as decided by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The event will focus on tourism as a driver of economic growth and to enhance nature and cultural preservation, the occasion has ever been celebrated yearly for the last 35 years.
Acire said the initiative is aligned with South Sudan National Vision 2030 which focuses on economic, social and human development and prioritizes tourism as a catalyst to progress towards a more diversified economy.