Still waiting on the Japanese tourist

Onish
Onish

Former President Festus Mogae’s Japanese investor attraction mission close to 10 years ago is still to bear fruit. Staff Writer BAME PIET looks into that sojourn and its impact

When former President Festus Mogae visited Japan in July 2006, with an entourage of not less than five ministers and countless senior government officials, hopes were high that the visit would change Botswana’s fortunes. In fact, the main objective of the visit was to sell the country to the Japanese population of over 120 million. Botswana Tourism industry players were on board the mission to try and lure the moneyed Asians to come check out the rich tourism sites.

Many activities were arranged, during what was dubbed ‘Botswana Week in Japan’, among them traditional dances in strategic locations in Tokyo, display of Botswana diamonds, and high level meetings between Botswana tour operators and their host counterparts. This was something new to the nation that knew very little about Africa, let alone, about this desert landlocked country.

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