Oscastars Holdings, a Maun based events management company held the first ever Maun Mini Tourism exposition over the weekend themed “Strengthening Ecotourism in Botswana”. Event organiser Naledi Motlamedi told The Telegraph in an interview that the main objective of hosting the expo was to bring awareness on ecotourism as well as to give stakeholders an opportunity to come under one roof to display their products and to map a way forward since it has become apparent that they are faced with the same challenges in their line of duty.
The day’s guest speaker, Lawrence Lecha of Lecha and Associates said since poverty takes many forms and demands corresponding responses, there is need for the private sector to join hands with government to come up with initiatives such as mini expos that would allow even smaller and upcoming entrepreneurs to showcase their products and benchmark with those who are already well established. Lecha said ecotourism should be encouraged as it brings about better living standards through improved services such as the availing of portable drinking water, infrastructure development, improved livelihoods and so forth. He noted that ecotourism also helps create a better appreciation of the world and its natural resources, amongst them landscapes and the abundant wildlife. Speaking to other stakeholders in attendance, he said they must make use of opportunities availed to them so as to improve their way of living. He commended Oscastars for coming up with such a noble project, adding it shows growth, and that once the tourism sector grows it will help shift Botswana from relying on diamonds and the beef industry alone.
“For those who want to penetrate the tourism sector, I would say you have come to the right place at the right time because this is the right platform to help you to engage and network with other industry giants. You need to join hands and help boost the economy of this country. You need to market this district, considering that it still remains the only one that is rich in natural resources,” he said.
Motlamedi said initially they had expected a total of 68 exhibitors at the event, even though just a few showed up, citing various reasons. She stated that because it was their first show, they have identified some teething problems here and there which they will address in the coming years as they want the event to be annual.