The Tourism Expo Botswana (TEB) has emphasised the need to emulate international trends of diversifying the travel and tourism industry away from the wildlife entity.
The tourism sector in Botswana is focused on the wildlife entity and calls have been made to diversify the industry by focusing on entertainment tourism, sport tourism, medical tourism and event and conferencing, so far little has been done.
“Botswana is still very much behind in exploiting these areas of tourism. Our neighbours such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are taking full advantage of every sector in the Tourism industry,” said Alimah Anderson, the founder of Tourism Expo Botswana.
Anderson said the global trend of looking into other areas of tourism is very lucrative as it promotes development of infrastructure and adds to job creation. She added that this adds real value to branding a country not just a leisure tourism destination but also as a business and wellness destination.
Tourism Expo Botswana is set to host its second edition of its annual expo next week. This year’s expo will be held under the theme ‘Bringing Travel/Tourism to the people’. Explaining the theme, Anderson said it simply reinforces the fact that promotion and marketing travel/tourism products and services is a vital component for any travel/tourism provider and that it is a continuous process.
She said the expo is aimed at further enticing the local consumer market and empowering the local trade.
Anderson said this year’s expo is exciting as they have attracted the attention of renowned international travel/tourism online and print publications which will be covering the expo and promoting it extensively at the different regional and international consumer and trade expos. “This will position the Tourism Expo Botswana brand strategically and will assist us as the organizers of this event in growing it from year to year,” said Anderson.
Additionally, she said they will be hosting regional and international trade professionals from Ethiopia, South Africa, India and Brazil. “These travel professionals will over the four days in Botswana carry out site visits to the local various accommodation providers, meet and network with the local travel professionals, network with the exhibitors and get an opportunity to experience what Gaborone as the capital city of Botswana has to offer,” said Anderson.
Last year, the expo had few local exhibitors because they were skeptical and reluctant to participate as exhibitors. This year there is only one local tour operator exhibiting all the other exhibitors are from the region and international markets such as India, Dubai and the Cultural Centre for Iran. All the other exhibitors include the likes of Kwazulu Natal Tourism, Gauteng Tourism, Zambia Tourism, Zimbabwe Tourism, Mozambique Tourism, to name but a few.
This year’s expo will be held from the 13-16th August 2013 at Game City.