As Botswana enters its wet season, tourism is slowly recovering.
The period between December and March, the ‘wet’ or ‘green’ season, is typically a time of lower tourism numbers due to the rain and cooler temperatures, but tourism stakeholders are rallying to ensure the destination’s recovery.
The Botswana Tourism Organisation hosted the virtual Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo from December 2-4. Usually a live event hosted in Kasane, the virtual event allowed 97 of the country’s tourism products to interact with 92 buyers from around the world.
“The virtual expo forms part of the Tourism Recovery Plan, through which the government of Botswana aims to boost the gradual opening of its tourism sector, for both domestic and international markets to once again immerse themselves in this great country with its endless ‘must see and experience’ tourist attractions, not to mention its warm hospitality through its people,” said the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng.
Regional airline, Airlink, has seen good demand for flights. “We’ve seen good demand for the Gaborone and Maun flights; demand for Kasane is slow but definitely improving,” said the airline’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Karin Murray.
She said while the market currently buying flights was mostly South Africans travelling to Botswana, this would change as and when international carriers increased flight schedules.
“But what’s important is that the flights are back. All the COVID-19 regulations are in place and, in our experience, the lodges there are making it really seamless,” said Murray, adding that accommodations were arranging opportunities for guests to get their COVID tests done easily before travelling again.
It is necessary to present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours to enter Botswana. All travellers presenting COVID-19 symptoms have to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense, according to the official Facebook page of the government of Botswana.