KASANE, Botswana – Various tourism industry players from both Botswana and around the world have commended the ongoing Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo (BTTE) for giving them a unique opportunity to network and forge tangible business partnerships.
Hosted at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa in Kasane, from December 2 – December 6th, 2019, the BTTE now in its 7th year, offers a unique strategic networking opportunity and gives special insight into the Botswana Tourism product, where one can access new markets and achieve business objectives.
280 exhibitors are attending this year’s exposition, which include 140 local operators and 140 international exhibitors. A total of 33 countries from around the world are participating at the BTTE with new entrants from Argentina, United Arab Emirates and Israel who have all converged in Kasane including some of the big Global tourism industry key players such as Qatar Airways and South African Airways and Air Botswana.
Speaking on the sidelines at the ongoing conference, Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) Board Chairman, Boitumelo Sekwababe said hosting the BTTE over the years has positioned Botswana positively on the global map as it has now become one of the biggest internationally recognised expositions around the world.
“We believe that indeed the BTTE has now started bringing in a lot of interest from international agents, tourists to come into Botswana. On the positive side for me, we’ve now seen local agents to start knowing their products so that they can now start engaging with International agents in a much more knowledgable way which will make sure we know start getting spin-offs in terms of income and people coming in large numbers, really for me is an eye-opening experience,” added Sekwababe.
Furthermore, the BTO Board Chair said the BTTE is just one of Botswana’s greatest marketing tools, adding that there has been a lot of work that the BTO has done outside the country to go and sell Botswana, and in most cases some of the people that come to Botswana are the people who have known our product through BTO’s visits to other international expos around the world and throughout the year.
“Therefore, all what the BTTE does is to cement and augment whatever we’ve already been doing as BTO. With 31 countries from around the world attending this year’s BTTE means Botswana is well-known around the world courtesy of the interest coming in. This makes the BTTE an important event in our calendar, and we will continue to see more and more people coming in to support our tourism offering,” said Sekwababe.
Quizzed about the recent announcement by Getaway Magazine of Botswana being the ‘Best Safari Destination’, Sekwababe said all these accolades from around the world truly make him and his colleagues at the BTO extremely proud and as such, “we need to let people know that we have a good product. We haven’t done enough as the BTO to make sure that people know what we do as well as what we have achieved. We continue to add value to our tourism product and as such we need to start making noise about all these awards we garner globally.”
Sekwababe noted that Botswana continues to champion conservation and sustainability efforts thanks to government legislations, adding that, “One of the things we preach as the BTO is to manage our activities in a sustainable way, and until we do that very soon we may not have a product to sell. Our message is very clear, we need to conserve all that we have in order for us to have a sustainable business going forward.”
For his part, the assistant Minister of Tertiary Education and Member of Parliament for Chobe, Machana Ronald Shamukuni said BTTE brings a lot of value to the people of Chobe, especially in the sense that these award winning hospitality facilities continue to put his area on the map internationally.
“People who in the past knew very little about Kasane now know a lot because of what these facilities are able to bring in terms of having the best destination know by the rest of the world. It excites us district leadership to have facilities domiciled in Kasane that are able to compete at the international stage,” said Shamukuni.
He added that for Kasane to be hosting BTTE extremely makes him proud simply because international agents and operators come in to first of all appreciate what we offer as a nation, the resources that we have, as well as to forge business relations with local stakeholders.
“The people of Chobe and the entire Botswana as a country are the custodians of our tourism product, and they are the ones that are better placed to tell our story to the international community, or visitor. I think the value of the BTTE can never be underestimated,” concluded Shamukuni.
The Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo aptly tagged #BTTE19, began on Monday, December 2 is expected to come to a resounding close on December, 6, 2019. Botswana Travel & Tourism Expo (BTTE) offers a unique opportunity to the world’s travel industry to establish business partnerships with the Botswana tourism industry players.