Absa Bank Botswana has reiterated its commitment to partnering with the tourism industry towards full recovery post the Covid-19 pandemic. The commitment was premised on the bank’s conviction that the industry remains a key sector of the economy.
It was for this reason that the bank recently brought together tourism expects for an engagement session in Maun to discuss key issues around the tourism landscape. Maun vital as a host because the bank is positive about the prospects of Ngamiland given the natural resources that set it apart for tourism and the fertile land for agriculture.
The engagement session, held under the theme ‘Navigating the tourism business landscape’ gave Absa a platform to also unpack some of the products tailor made for the tourism industry.
Absa’s Managing Director, Krishnan Menon said at the engagement that the tourism and agriculture sectors form an integral part of the diversification agenda, as such they will continue to align their strategy to support government’s agenda to support the industries which they believe are crucial for the country’s transformation and sustainable growth.
Menon said while tourism was hardest hit by the Covid-19, some key experiences lessons were learnt which would guide the recovery path, adding that measures put in place today will shape the tourism of tomorrow.
“At Absa Bank Botswana we will continue ensuring that we stand with you during these challenging times as much as we have done in the past, we stood with you when the industry experienced a major downfall and we will continue to support you throughout the recovery period,” he assured.
Meanwhile Menon has commended the successful vaccine rollout, which resulted in low Covid-19 related hospitalisations and mortalities, noting that this will go a long way in restoring traveller confidence.
He added that the pandemic has also led to players in the tourism industry promoting domestic tourism, and giving Batswana an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of their own country, lessening the economic impact in businesses and improving the livelihoods of the people in the Ngamiland region.
“This has helped for the tourism players to have a better understanding of the market, preparing the market to diversify its offerings and as such the players have responded to the challenges with hope, strength and determination.”
For his part, Absa Bank Botswana Head of Business Banking Keletso Setimela said the engagement session called for support in collaboration, sharing of information which he expressed confidence will lead to breakthrough interventions which have mutual benefits.
“The hospitality and tourism sector is an important area of focus for us as we note that it is here to stay and has a lot of potential in creating employment,” he stated.