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Bots partners with international players to bolster local tourism

Kasane

Botswana has signed up to be a partner country for 2017 with the International Travel Bourse(ITB) in Germany in an effort to create greater awareness about Botswana's tourist product globally.

"We have also partnered with National Geographic on the 2016 World Legacy Awards and the partnership is already creating a lot of awareness for Botswana, its tourism and conservation efforts through the different National Geographic media platforms," said Jonathan Gibson, Botswana Tourism Organization Board Member.

He said, "Over and above these we have been running targeted campaigns on BBC's Travel Channel intended to highlight the importance of the tourism industry to the lives of the people of Botswana thereby giving reason why travellers should think Botswana, when they decide on their various holidays."

These initiatives are designed to heighten the country's brand awareness to remind holiday makers about Botswana as a holiday destination.

"We recently hosted visitors from Ireland, Estonia and the Netherlands who had entered and won the Travel Channel's global competition," said Gibson.

The area Member of Parliament stressed the BTTE will stimulate more interest amongst the people of Chobe to venture into Tourism and celebrated the realization that small scale operators who faced challenges in travelling to major travel fairs could participate in a home grown event.

"We want to see this event growing bigger over the years as it is not only provides an opportunity for industry networking but it also creates job opportunities for the people in this area," said Ronald Shamukuni, Member of Parliament for Kasane.

He said, "Tourism beneficiation is widespread across various industries including supporting industries. Therefore when we celebrate such events we should also be looking at how well local industries position themselves to benefit from the event."

Botswana has also been encouraged to make better use of social media and electronic platforms during a workshop for participants at the Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo(BTTE) 2015 because estimates show that 63% of all travel is researched, booked, bought and sold online.

A study by KPMG also reinforced the view with 49% of businesses run by Tour Operators in decline and 24 major tour operators bankrupted in 2013-15 including renown entities like Thomas Cook.

"We need to stop burying our heads in the sand because that will lead to market place extinction," said Damian Cook, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and Founder, E-Tourism Frontiers.
He said, "Travelling is the most popular shared experience on social media."

With an estimated 1.3billion facebook users the social media allegedly provided a captive market with the alleged shift underwritten by the power exercised by individuals in making choices. For example, a shaky amateur 8 minute video titled 'Battle at Kruger,' made by a tourist at Kruger National Park.
It became a social media sensation registering a staggering 74 million viewers and was eventually bought for US$11million. It highlighted the importance of reflected individual experiences.

E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world and partners include major global brands including Facebook, Trip Advisor, Google, Expedia, YouTube, Triposo, Tripbod, ResRequest and many more.

 

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