Reviving tourism sector - GulfToday

Reviving tourism sector


A grand view of the Botswana Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

Amidst optimism and hope in reviving the tourism sector, Botswana Pavilion held official press briefing to announce the Botswana Tourism Month at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Set to be on display until the 8th of February 2022, the one-of-a-kind showcase promises to highlight the Southern African country as a globally competitive force in tourism with a rich natural resource base and investment potential. The exhibition will shine a spotlight on Botswana’s diverse culture, its food, song, dance and the long-standing principles of sustainability.

Participating delegates included Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng, her Permanent Secretary Dr Oduetse Oldman Koboto alongside Botswana Tourism Organisation’s Acting Chief Executive Officer -  Tshoganetso Carl-Ponoesele. Also present on the occasion were officials from Botswana’s government entities and Botswana’s finest tourist operators hoping to share the travel packages on offer and potential investment projects with investors and travellers seeking to learn about the country’s opportunities first-hand.

Speaking at the engagement, the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng said, ‘Botswana is known for its exclusive experiences, dramatic wildlife encounters, picturesque landscapes and off-grid vacations. The country boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Tsodilo Hills with the rock art filled spiritual sites, and the Okavango Delta which is the desert’s unexpected wetland wonder.’’

It is not by coincidence that Botswana hosts the world’s largest elephant population. The country’s high-value and low-volume tourism escapades are focused on minimising the negative environmental impacts. Botswana has also seen substantial growth in business and investment opportunities due to its stable political environment.

Furthermore, in the advent of COVID-19, the Government of Botswana together with tourism industry stakeholders developed Tourism Industry Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all tourist enterprises. Through the use of these SoPs, the tourism industry has committed to protect their health and that of travellers to ensure their readiness to host the tourists.

Botswana is a promising destination for both business and leisure, and today boasts some of the world’s most pristine safari experiences, hotels, entertainment facilities and malls. Throughout the month, Botswana Tourism has lined-up a variety of executive and cultural activities to showcase the country’s vast offerings. With the Botswana tourism conference on January 18th, 2022, at the Address Dubai Mall, was a platform for dialogue between Botswana and its international trade partners and potential investors, especially those in the UAE and neighbouring GCC counties. The conference gathered key stakeholders from across the Middle East and focused on travel and tourism as well as investment opportunities in Botswana. The conference officially launched ‘Destination Botswana’ campaign attracting over seventy delegates amongst them being the Middle East investors and visitors.

Botswana Tourism Sundowner networking at end of the tourism conference showcased the culture, food, song and dance of Botswana to experience the feel of the loved country and its welcoming people.

Meanwhile, the timing is a big blessing on Dubai to have a grand opening of Expo 2020. This opportunity has come after one and half years of lock down across the world due to the pandemic. The Expo is going to be a grand event. The whole world will have now a reason to visit Dubai. The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.

In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

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