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Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) has invited the CEO of the Association des Hoteliers et Restaurateurs de Maurice (AHRIM), Jocelyn Kwok to their annual conference slatted for Maun next month as part of its benchmarking exercise.
Kwok will be the guest speaker at the conference, where Vice President Slumber Tsogwanewill perform the official opening role on event to be held on April 13-14th under the theme, ‘Tourism; An engine that foster sustainable and inclusive growth.’
Kwok has since 2011 been the CEO of AHRIM which is the main professional association of private operators in the hospitality industry in Mauritius, which accounts for 8.1% of the country’s employment and contributes 8.6% of its GDP.
Briefing the media about the upcoming conference in Maun recently, HATAB’s Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Tebogo Ramakgathi said they decided to invite someone from Mauritius based on the fact that the country leads in tourism, as such they want to benchmark on how other international associations are doing.
Mauritius is among the leading tourist destinations and the country’s economy depends heavily on the industry. The sector reportedly attracted over $360 million in 2022, with over 2 million visitors.
Ramakgathi said HATAB wants the Botswana sector moving higher in its current performance, adding that the industry has room to perform way better than it does now.
Ramakgathi noted that HATAB also strives for the diversification of the country’s tourism product offering, to unlock its potential, create more jobs and growth to the economy.
According to her, there are bottlenecks that curtail tourism growth in the country, among the red tape in government policies and general environment in doing business.
“You will see that we have a dream of excelling but a lot of things do not allow us to develop or grow the tourism industry. To highlight these are issues such as airports, connectivity and service delivery, the little things that we take lightly are the ones that impedes our growth.”
The HATAB’s annual conference provides a platform for participants to engage with policy makers, senior government officials, business leaders, academia, and other key stakeholders. This provides an opportunity to discuss challenges/emerging issues and come up with solutions to promote an enabling environment for the tourism sector’s development and growth.
“At the conference were are going to see a lot of policy and decision makers among other dignitaries and from there we will be able to come up with resolutions that can map the way forward as to what can we can be done to enhance the tourism industry,” said Ramakgathi.