National, News

Inside Rizik’s ambition to boost tourism

By William Madouk

Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Rizik Zakaria Hassan plans to generate multi-million-dollar annual revenues from tourism sector.

Addressing the National Economic Conference yesterday, Rizik said that based on the projections, South Sudan would benefit a lot from the tourism sector.

According to him, tourism is the only sector that will help the country out of this financial crisis.

“We have many steep challenges, which are about the infrastructure, the roads, and accommodation. But we are doing this projection in the scenario that in the near future we may be in a position to develop that infrastructure,” said Rizik.

“We are projecting that for the domestic tourists to enjoy the migration as we put it there, the public financial management requires each tourist to pay $10 or equivalent in South Sudanese pounds,” he suggested.

He projected that the country would annually receive 500,000 domestic tourists which would generate $5 million.

For international tourists, the entrance fee as per the public financial management is 50 US dollars.

“We are expecting them to influx, to come in large numbers. We are doing the average scenario of 700,000. Then that will end up with around 75 million US dollars in annual visitors to the migration.”

The tourism minister further noted that the accommodation alone is displayed at the minimum rate of $50, and they are expecting from the accommodation at the migration site around 55 million US dollars annually.

Mr. Rizik said they are planning to establish facilities at six national parks and 12 game reserves and called on investors to show interest in those designated areas.

“We have the protected areas; we have the migration; but they lack the infrastructure. They lack the facilities, and tourism cannot be effective without having those facilities in place,” he underlined.

“Wildlife is a business; it’s a very lucrative business. But this conservation awareness is very important to inform the South Sudanese about the importance of these aspects.”

He cited that they are planning to procure vehicles, planes, helicopters, boats, and drones, a plan approved by the council of ministers that is just awaiting financing.

Mr. Rizik lamented that there is a lot of habitat destruction, degradation, logging, grazing, encroachment, illegal firearms, and poaching which are all part of the habitat destruction.

South Sudan’s natural attractions include the climatic regions, rain forests, alpine areas, woodlands, grasslands, mountains, beaches, swamps, caves, cliffs, springs, falls, and wetlands.

The country has historical sites and heritage, cultural tourism, protected areas, and wildlife, geographical or biological features that have a significant appeal to the tourism market.



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