The Monitor :: Botswana opens up to the world
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Last Updated
Monday 22 October 2018, 11:52 am.
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Botswana opens up to the world

KASANE: The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama says travel and tourism expositions are critical in promoting Botswana’s potential to the international market.
By Pauline Dikuelo Mon 08 Dec 2014, 12:25 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Botswana opens up to the world








Khama was speaking at the second annual Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo (BTTE) which ended on Wednesday. The event was well attended by delegates from Europe, local tourism players well as local and international journalists.

“Such professional interactions are vital for promoting an atmosphere conducive for mutual understanding between the two sets of operators,” he said.

“They are also important for bridging the geographic and cultural gaps between the two and for building enduring business relationships.”

Khama said while Botswana embraces technological advantages which have brought speed and efficiency in transactions, the human element was still an important part of doing business, thus the need for face-to-face encounters, as those provided by the Expo.

The Minister said the uniqueness and experimental nature of the tourism industry is all the more reason why all players need to constantly interact to review strategies and exchange knowledge.

The Expo, he added, is in line with Government’s drive towards collaborative planning in key economic priority areas such as tourism. “The concept of collaborative planning emphasises ‘planning with’ as opposed to ‘planning for’ our stakeholders,” he said.

“The new global dispensation, to which we are intrinsically intertwined, has compelled us to invest in a forum like this Expo in recognition of the important role that overseas based operators can play for the success of Botswana‘s operations.”

According to Khama, tourism is a combination of activities, services and industries that deliver and define

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the quality of travel experience. In this light, Special Interest Travel (SIT) is becoming a global market trend.

“SIT is among the rapidly expanding types of tourism and it represents an increasing fragmentation of the international tourist markets as they become more sophisticated,” the Minister said.

“SIT tourists seek more authentic experiences that enable closer interaction with the host community in a non-exploitative manner with much more personalised service.”

He challenged local tour operators to respond to the specific needs of this growing niche market, saying they would need to rely considerably on information that filters constantly from various stakeholders.

“Only through such collaboration can we hope to deliver relevant product offerings to our markets and yield the requisite authenticity of the travel experience,” he said.

The Expo was held in various lodges in and around Kasane, with travel and tour operators from Botswana and European exhibiting their product and service offerings for tourists.

Workshops were also held during the Expo on various topics, such as one held for local operators on how to better target visitors from niche markets.

The Expo also included a game drive, helicopter flight through the area, followed by a boat cruise to give delegates more appreciation of the tourism heartland’s beauty.

The Expo’s objective is to create a platform, which can enable overseas-based tour operators from key source of markets have direct face-to-face business dialogue with local industry players.

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