21st June 2024
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Parliament passes Tourism Bill 2024 without debate

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Monday, June 10, 2024

National Parliament|Photo by Obaj Okuj|04-06-2024

The National Legislative Assembly smoothly passed the Tourism Bill 2024 after legislators made no prior deliberation.

This comprehensive bill, comprising12 chapters, is designed to establish a robust regulatory framework to oversee and facilitate the sustainable development of the tourism sector.

The bill was introduced in its third reading by Hon. Wilson Lodiong Sebit, the Chairperson of the Committee on Wildlife, Conservation, and Tourism.

Hon. Lodiong presented a joint report prepared by the two standing specialized committees on Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism, and Legislation and Justice, which reviewed the Tourism Bill, 2024.

“Right Honorable Speaker, Honorable members of the August House. I request the August House to deliberate on this bill titled the Tourism Bill 2024, into third and final stage reading. This is in accordance to section 106 of the conduct of business regulation 2011 as amended 2021,” Lodiong.

Following the presentation, Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba opened the floor for lawmakers to deliberate on the bill.

However, instead of engaging in a discussion, the members called for the bill to be moved directly to the third and final reading stage.

During the session, First Deputy Speaker Hon. Oyet Nathaniel objected to passing the bill without debate, citing that he had only received a copy of the bill that morning.

“Right Honorable speaker, thank you for the chance I’m raising a general point of procedure I just got the copy this morning in this room,” Oyet said.

“It was not circulated that’s why members want to pass it with without discussion I only got it here. We don’t know the content; we have never get good chance to read it.”

But despite his objections and request for a debate, the majority opted to pass the bill without further deliberation.

Hon. Oliver Mori, the spokesperson parliament then pronounced the bill passed, in accordance with the conduct of business regulations 2011 as amended.

“The TNLA unanimously pass the tourism bill 2024 in its totality and as of today this bill has been passed and it will be forwarded to the office of the President to sign on it and it becomes law in the Republic of South Sudan,” said Mori.

The bill’s provisions include the establishment, powers, and functions of a tourism directorate, and outline the appointment and eligibility criteria for the Director-General of Tourism.

It stipulates a range of standards and guidelines essential for the licensing and regulation of tourism-related activities and businesses.

The Tourism Bill represents a significant legislative effort aimed at enhancing the quality and competitiveness of the tourism industry.

It addresses critical areas such as tourism infrastructure, service standards, environmental sustainability, and consumer protection.

South Sudan’s tourism industry makes up only a small share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The report further estimates the contribution of the travel and tourism in South Sudan’s GDP is expected to grow to 4.1% by the year 2024.

By setting clear standards for tourism operators and ensuring compliance with international best practices, the bill seeks to foster a more vibrant and responsible tourism sector.

Key provisions of the bill include the creation of a regulatory body responsible for issuing licenses, monitoring compliance, and enforcing regulations.

The bill also emphasizes the preservation of cultural heritage and natural resources, ensuring that tourism development aligns with the principles of sustainable development.

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