Wilderness spends P6.5m on suppliers

Reaching out: Matome speaking at the recent stakeholders' meeting
Reaching out: Matome speaking at the recent stakeholders' meeting

Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) has spent P6.5 million on new business just two months after its successful inaugural Supplier Expo where it had invited citizen-owned businesses to showcase their goods and services.

Speaking at a stakeholder update recently, OWS caretaker managing director, Joe Matome, said from the Expo where 110 vendors gathered in Maun, the tourism group had already welcomed many onto its supplier database for procurement and engagement.

He said Wilderness expected the Expo to become an annual engagement that helps enhance the inclusion of citizen-owned businesses as part of the tourism ecosystem. The Expo, held in March, was part of OWS efforts to enhance its impact on the local community by boosting its procurement from local suppliers and enhancing the national priorities of citizen enterprise and value chain development. In the ten years to 2023,

OWS’ spent P1.3 billion procuring goods and services from local suppliers, while its rate of local procurement averaged 85% over that period. Besides vendors, the Expo attracted commercial banks, National Development Bank, Local Enterprise Authority and the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency, as well as the Mindset Change team, Pusha BW and the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre.

Meanwhile, Matome said Wilderness has been busy ensuring the first quarter of 2024 is a strong one in terms of product, engagement and planning for refurbished camps to reopen. The refurbished camps include Tubu Tree and Little Tubu. The caretaker MD said going into the peak tourism period, Wilderness was more committed than ever to delivering on its purpose.

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