Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) has elected Thapelo Matsheka as Chairman.
He beat Marcus Tahar and Taswika Tibone to the post.
The Association was holding its General meeting in Maun during the week.
Speaking to Sunday Standard after his election, Dr Matsheka who is also Chief Executive Officer of AON Botswana said tourism in Botswana needed an altogether fresh perspective.
Matsheka has previously served as a Board Member of Botswana Tourism Organisation, a state owned parastatal which is responsible for commercializing tourism in the country.
With tourism growing in size and contribution to the country’s GDP, HATAB has increasingly become a powerful and important lobby group.
He said from talking to HATAB members, they are looking for somebody who will constructively engage with government as the regulator.
“Unlike mining, tourism is a sector that has grown from the private sector. As a member driven association, HATAB is of the view that the role of regulation should be more for facilitation than anything else,” he said.
He said it is important to underscore the fact that tourism in Botswana is mainly happening in such areas where water and the general environment concerns are key topics and it is on those issues that HATAB will be looking to open conversation with government.
“Members were looking for an independent person who will be bringing a fresh look. There is a whole range of issues that we need to look at and do differently to take tourism to another level. We are very much awake to the fact that as HATAB we are BOCCIM members. The only difference is we are sector specific, but our focus is not detached from BOCCIM,” said Dr Matsheka.
BOCCIM is the private sector federation that seeks to talk for the private sector on issues of policy and regulation.