Low participation in the upcoming tourism exposition by local players in the tourism sector has been criticised. The first ever expo is expected to provide a dynamic and exciting platform for local tour operators and exhibitors to create strong strategic business relationships.
“This is a real shame as 90 percent of the exhibitors are from the region and international market and they have obviously seen great business opportunity in Botswana which the local operators seem to have missed,” said Lebogang Moitoi, the Public Relations and Marketing executive at Tourism Expo Botswana.
Unfortunately, this year being the first year of the expo Moitoi said a lot of Botswana-based operators were very skeptical in participating as they all said they were not sure of the success of the expo.
Moitoi said the expo has been organised to meet the needs of our regional and international exhibitors. For three days, local tour operators will have an opportunity to forge business with some of the most diverse players in the global tourism industry.
She said countries like Namibia and South Africa realise that Botswana being landlocked is a primary market for them to target for tourism and statistics show that each year during various holidays a large number of people travel out of Botswana for leisure. “It is our hope that next year there will be more local tourism providers participating in the expo,” she said.
At the expo regional tourism operators will market and promote various holiday packages and the
local market will have an opportunity to buy holiday packages.
The expo is positioned to provide a platform for local tour operators in Botswana to expand their business services by forging business networks with tourism stakeholders from the region and internationally.
“Our projections indicate that Tourism Expo Botswana 2012 will indirectly and directly bring over P350 000 into the local economy,” she said. Confirmed 2012 Tourism Expo Botswana Exhibitors are: Destinations Luxury Travel, Botswana India Tourism, India, Kwa Zulu Natal Tourism, South Africa, Namibia Tourism, Namibia, Dubai Tourism, Dubai, Northern Cape Tourism, South Africa and Intercape. The expo will kick start on 16TH to 18TH August 2012 at the Game City Food Court and Terrace in Gaborone.
Day one of the expo will be dedicated to Private Viewing, which is by invite only and for the closed trade meetings between the exhibitors and the invited local tour operators and travel agents. Day two and three are open for the public and this is an ideal opportunity to purchase discounted holiday packages for the festive season.
For the first time in Botswana there will be over 10 regional and international tourism providers who are here purely to create business partnerships. She urged Local Tour operators to take advantage of the expo. Local tour operators will have an opportunity to interact and sign agreements where they will be able to sell holiday packages from other parts of Africa and the world.