On the back of a great year for Botswana’s tourism, the country is devising strategies and taking initiatives for more successes for the industry next year. The country has already set its sights on new international tourism markets and is hoping to build a more vibrant MICE sector.
The Southern African nation saw the return of its biggest tourism and travel event, the Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo (BTTE) in November this year. Earlier in October, the country hosted the 5th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards. Both events attracted hundreds of participants and boosted confidence in Botswana’s tourism industry while giving a strong indication that it is an emerging destination for the events and meetings sector.
In a conversation with VoyagesAfriq, the CEO of Botswana Tourism Organization, Ms. Tshoganetso Carl-Ponoesele posited, “2022 has been quite an eventful year for our tourism sector in Botswana, and I must say that what really came out strong was the events and the conferences. For the first time in Botswana, we managed to host with finance international events of a stature that has amazed our patrons and our counterparts regionally.”
According to her, the feat has propelled them to do more in the coming year.
“We walk into 2023 with new vigour and new energy. As we see already, the interest in the MICE sector has increased. We already see different interests in international organizations lobbying for Botswana to host these international events.”
With BTTE 2022 proving to be good in terms of the number of international buyers, Ms. Carl-Ponoesele is hopeful that the country would attract even more in the coming year.
“We received over 100 international buyers in BTTE 2022. So to us, this is a huge blessing and breakthrough because post-Covid one will not expect so much,” the CEO indicated.
As part of the approaches to achieve this, Ms. Carl-Ponoesele hinted that in addition to their traditional source markets, Botswana will turn attention to other international markets in their tourism marketing and promotion campaigns.
“We are not only going to lean ourselves towards the traditional source markets, we are also looking at the new tourist interest because we have the UAE market which is coming up, and by virtue of having the desert, we are looking forward to working with the UAE market. We are also looking at penetrating the Japanese and the Asia markets because they have also been quiet for some time” she stressed.
Ms. also disclosed that they are looking forward to a bigger and better BTTE in 2023. In light of this, they would ensure providing seamless travel for international agents and participants.
The CEO explained, “We are already lobbying for partnerships with other airlines. During the WTM London, we managed to engage with Ethiopian Airlines and lobbied for assistance with the transportation of our international agents for BTTE 2023 to reduce the travel time and the layover time during the transit.”