Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) is closing the year in a big way, by hosting the world in Kasane for this year’s Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo aptly tagged #BTTE19, from today, December 2 – 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. The BTTE also offers a unique strategic networking opportunity and gives special insight into the Botswana Tourism product, including where one can access new markets and achieve business objectives.
280 exhibitors will attend this year’s exposition, which include 140 local operators and 140 international exhibitors. A total of 33 countries from around the world will participate at the BTTE with new entrants from Argentina, United Arab Emirates and Israel, including some of the big Global tourism industry key players such as Qatar Airways and South African Airways and Air Botswana.
“At the heart of BTO is our relationship with the people of Botswana and communities. We strive to continuously improve the country’s tourism landscape through quality collaborations,” said Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Myra Sekgororoane. She said the manner in which Botswana manages the environment, its conservation policies, the manner in which we do our game drives, or any other activities around natural resources is very unique hence many tourists keep coming back in large numbers.
Furthermore, the BTO CEO reiterated that the annual exposition aims to connect local industry players with global travel industry companies to close new business partnerships for Botswana. “This event provides unique strategic networking opportunities for Botswana’s tourism companies to achieve new objectives and reach new international markets, targeting the sectors expansion and growth for the year to come. The BTTE event will also feature local and destination workshops, focusing on strategies to make the country’s tourism industry a globally competitive one,” Sekgororoane added.
The BTO CEO said government has to be commended for having conserved the Botswana tourism product, and this is the reason people around the world find Botswana appealing and credible, hence the hosting of an event such as BTTE.
“The people you’re going to see in the next few days from around all the continents in the world still have faith on the Botswana product and throughout the week they will be dialoguing and experiencing the product first hand and in person. They will get to see that we are genuine, and that we also have big enough following from around the world, that believes in us.”
Quizzed about her favourite Botswana destination, Sekgororoane said “all of them.” “I say this not because I’m speaking on behalf of Botswana Tourism, but rather because ours is a unique product. One thing that makes us unique is our rich diversity, even in the wildlife renowned areas, the scenery and so forth, is amazing. From the vastness and utterly alluring Chobe River right behind me, to the Okavango Delta with its meandering water ways, the openness of the Kalahari, the biggest dried lake that is Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the rugged Thuli Block terrains; the cosmopolitan mix in the urban centres, Goo Moremi Gorge with its mystic; the culture and the heritage, makes Botswana one of the unique countries one can ever visit or live in.”
Sekgororoane said global tourism industry from time to time meet around the world at various tourism expositions, but the real uniqueness with BTTE is that tourism industry operators converge in a country that is being sold. “We are selling Botswana with all its unique attractions and various terrains. We have operators from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), Gaborone and its surrounding areas, the Tuli area, Makgadikgadi, Okavango, including Chobe itself. The whole country is represented. We also have international tourism buyers from all the continents, so we are all here for five days. It’s a good meet, where you get to experience the product first hand. You actually feel and touch it,” said Sekgororoane adding that they have also involved major international airlines including the forthcoming Qatar Airways, which will be flying into the country for the first time in a couple of weeks time.
“The reason we involved airlines is because you cannot separate travel from tourism or vice versa, access, access, access. We have to really form tight synergies and partnerships with airlines. BTTE 2019 has been growing over the years, as a business-to-business expo. It’s
purely business, and every year we have seen new countries coming in, which gives it a definite global rating that says we are on the right path.”
Lastly, Sekgororoane urged Batswana to become brand ambassadors in promoting the country and its tourism product.
“Botswana remains pristine because of Batswana, they manage the country, and set the tone in terms of policies, it is how they receive people, how they are perceived by other people, so in addition to all other issues such as stability, comparative security, our friendliness, customer service, we totally depend on Batswana as the real ambassadors of the product to push Botswana Tourism.”
Sekgororoane said, this is why the country keeps getting accolades and getting top ratings from around the world including the latest one of being ‘Best Safari Destination in Africa.’
The ranking was compiled by Safaribookings.com , which analysed over 4,000 reviews of safaris all over the continent to come to this conclusion. These reviews included those from guests who had visited the nominated countries and travel journalists, mainly guidebook writers who contribute regularly to Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.