The just ended Africa’s Travel Indaba has given the continent’s and indeed the local tourism industry certainty that the sector was on the road to full recovery or even surpass the pre-Covid 19 figures.
The sentiments shared by various participants at the Indaba by both the sellers and buyers were that the exposition brought together larger numbers, and better quality in both the buyers and products showcased.
On the outside, the exhibition floors were fully occupied, a scenario only known to the pre Covid era, but it was the intense back to back meetings that the businesses had with buyers that indicative of good days ahead.
From major airlines to major hospitality players to the small SMEs, all had their fair share of hectic meeting schedule, and this provided relief for the industry that suffered the worst as result of the pandemic.
Botswana, like other African countries was well represented by various palyers in the industry, those well established and the smaller businesses, most of which were facilitated by the Botswana Tourism Organisation.
For Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO)’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keitumetse Setlang expressed optimism that all pointed a trend of full recovery. She has said the industry’s recovery was no longer in question as she indicated that the quality of the products on offer and the buyers was of higher standard at these year’s event.
According to Setlang the companies from Botswana, 37 of which were facilitated by BTO, reported positive feedback from their business meetings with the market, adding this points to a positive outlook as they head back to their business spaces for busy seasons ahead.
The newly appointed Sales and Marketing Director of Desert and Delta Safaris, a subsidiary of Chobe Holdings, said in an interview that the prestigious trade show focussing on African tourism was a crucial show for the industry.
He said after the lengthy travel restriction due to the pandemic, they were at annual trade expo to assure the market, the travellers that Botswana destination remains safe to visit and still offering the best offering at a global scale.
“Post Covid, what has been very interesting for us to see was how much importance has been put on the people, the responsible tourism focus. Why big tourism companies need to be helping communities to benefit from tourism. This is something that Desert and Delta Safaris has been doing for its 4 decades of operation,” he said.
Flatt further reiterated they also helping their partners and travellers to be connected with empowering the communities to put value to the industry.
“We are here to show them that post Covid, you don’t just have to and see beautiful animals and places, you can go and experience the culture, the history of the people,” he said.