South Africa’s North West Province Tourism (NWPT) who visited the country recently on a familiarization tour coupled with a trade and media activation have confirmed that more and more Batswana and citizens continue to visit the province which positively adds to their leisure industry coffers.
The recent trade tour featured the NWTP top brass among them Department of Tourism MEC, Desbo Mohono in their relentless effort to court more Batswana to visit their province and immense themselves in the many leisurely affairs, a duly trend they have been undertaking for the past three years successively.
The NWTP’s 104,882 km² vast region which its landscape is defined by mountains in the northeast and bushvelds scattered with trees and shrubs borders with Botswana and is conveniently accessed by tourists using Ramotswa border post in Ramotswa, Kopfontein border post in Tlokweng as well as the Pioneer border post in Lobatse respectively.
True to their success story, and addressing the local media at a press conference held at Masa Square Hotel recently, the CEO of NWPT, Loselo Segwe who led the entourage that comprised of North West MEC for Tourism, Desbo Mohono, Board Member, Gouda Gaobepe, NWPT Head of Financing, Motsepe Moiloanyane and South African Tourism (SAT) staff said he’s truly grateful to Botswana’s contribution to the growth of his region’s tourism figures.
Furthermore, Segwe noted that they have opened dialogue with Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) to collaborate on making the two destinations, North West Province, Gaborone and its greater areas respectively, the most preferred destinations.
BTO’s most closest calendar events to NWPT perimeters include the annual Toyota 1000 Kalahari Desert Race in Jwaneng, Heart of the City carnival in Gaborone and other sponsored events such as the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC).
“The NWTP statistics show an increase of around 3% of people coming from Botswana into our province, making a total of around ZAR500, 000 monthly with a total value of ZAR10 million. These people mainly come for shopping sprees, and have increased their stay from three nights to five nights. This is great in any language and we can only grow if together in the region we promote each other’s events. As thus, we have since opened and shared notes with our Botswana counterparts at the Botswana Tourism Organization. Their CEO (Hubona) is aware of this and we look forward to very fruitful interactions in future,” said Segwe.
The North West Province which also has about 3.51 million population according to the 2011 population census prides itself with tourism sites such as Madikwe Game Reserve, Pilanesberg Reserve, Hartbeespoort, Sun City, guest houses as well as historical museums.
Quizzed about involving and exchanging calendar events with their counterparts here in Botswana, The North West MEC for Tourism, Desbo Mohono openly said as a region they should candidly open to each other and further advised BTO to visit the North West so they advertise their calendar of events to reach a broader spectrum.
Furthermore, Mohono said her country will also loosen immigration laws such as affidavits for tourists travelling with children to encourage more family outings.
“As a province we pride ourselves as the go-getters and we won’t wait for our customers to come to us but rather go to them and learn from them what they want and how best we can cater for them. We want to make the NWP a preferred destination for Batswana, however we can’t be happy with people coming to our province when we can’t have our people coming to Botswana in reciprocation. It has to be interchanging process. In the process, we are in talks with our immigration departments to loosen some laws, we hope our ministers in the region can also come forth on this matter,” she said.
The attendants at the press conference also took time to observe a moment of silence for the dearly-departed South African hip-hop muso HHP who hails from Mafikeng in the North West Province.