This Content Is Only For Subscribers
To achieve the intended goal of the national Meeting Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitors (MICE) strategy which seeks to increase Botswana’s tourism destination competitiveness and offer a diverse product, there is need for the country to leverage on its strengths.
This was revealed by the MICE Consultant Sen Ramsamy who strongly believes that just like Dubai, Botswana has a geo-strategic position location that the country could use to create socio-economic opportunities for herself.
The strategy emanates from the revised tourism policy of 2021 which places some emphasis on MICE as a strategy for tourism product diversification to position Botswana as a MICE destination.
BTO has been tasked with leading the development of the strategy and its study has since been completed. As part of rolling it out, BTO is holding workshops with the industry stakeholders across the Tourism Development Areas and this past Friday it was held in Maun.
Speaking during the workshop, Ramsamy added that other strengths that Botswana can capitalize on include among others, positive image the country has worldwide, its political stability, quality of life compared to many African countries, the reigning rule of law and the good hospitality Batswana have.
He added that the strategy will also be built on strengths of each region proposing that Maun should be developed, elevated, and recognized as the Tourism Capital of Botswana.
“There should be an airport expansion and modernization, cleaning initiatives and land scaping, creation of a fashion avenue, arts culture and entertainment facilities as well as fine dining facilities,” Ramsamy said adding that northern districts deserve to gain more tourism popularity under MICE.
He emphasized that the expansion and modernization of the airport will make it easy for tourists from all over the world to visit Botswana. He further added that creation of facilities will also call in more tourists and make them spend more in the country.
He indicated that Botswana needs to take advantage of MICE to sustain its economy instead of an overreliance on diamond. He added that the strategy is a blueprint that represents not just a plan but a transformative journey towards redefining the landscape of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) in Botswana.
For her part, Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) Acting CEO Keitumetse Setlang explained that the strategy is not only about the tourism industry but it is inclusive of all other sectors and government structures.
“MICE involves various governmental departs as it entails infrastructural development and improved service delivery hence for it to smoothly roll we need to keep all stakeholders on board of the strategy,” Setlang said.
Focusing on Maun, Setlang said the workshops was meant to ensure that the strategy is informed by what people of Maun think should happen to their area.
“We already have a product called the Okavango delta, and we want tourists to stop here and there has to be something that makes them do that. We want to turn Maun around and through this workshop we want people of Maun to share as to how MICE needs to be rolled out.”
She stressed that implementation of MICE strategy need all hands on board for its to turn out into a success, “There is need to ensure that there is buy in what we want to do or how we want to roll the strategy out and also ensure that as we do that we have done extensive consultations.”