In 2022, Botswana welcomed 1.04 million international arrivals and is focused on growing that number this year by targeting new source markets, developing airlift capacity, and increasing its share of the MICE sector.
This is according to CEO of Botswana Tourism Organisation, Tshoganetso Carl-Ponoesele, who pointed out that, following on the heels of major events held in Botswana last year – including the 5th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards in October and the Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo (BTTE) in November – interest in holding international events in the country had increased.
“Both events attracted hundreds of participants and boosted confidence in Botswana’s tourism industry while indicating that it is an emerging destination for the events and meetings sector,” she said, highlighting that these events would be held in Botswana again this year.
BTTE 2022 attracted over 100 international buyers and Carl-Ponoesele is hopeful of exceeding that number.
Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana CEO, Lily Rakorong, noted at the Tourism Investment Forum Africa – held in the Northern Cape last month – that Botswana’s investment drive across all sectors of the economy, including renewable energy and tourism, would also grow MICE business.
New source markets
Carl-Ponoesele noted that while Botswana was not over-reliant on any single source market, intraregional travel was a noticeable trend, with five of its top-ten source markets located in Africa – namely South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, and Lesotho.
Traditional source markets, such as the US, Germany, Australia and France, will continue to be actively wooed but, said Carl-Ponoesele, other markets showed promise as well.
“We are looking forward to working more closely with the UAE market and are looking towards the Japanese and the Asia markets,” she said.
“We are already lobbying for partnerships with other airlines to provide more international and regional airlift into Botswana.”
Botswana’s top 10 source markets 2022
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Source: Global Data