I’ve often felt that one of the most desirable and prestigious safari destinations, Botswana does not do enough to market itself to the masses of prospective travellers the world over.
Other similar countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe are virtually everywhere; on the Internet, in travel magazines and on TV. Even from abroad, the marketing efforts of these countries are clear for all to see! But Botswana largely remains ‘hidden’ and not very visible beyond the SADC region. I genuinely believe the government’s long-standing policy of high value, low impact tourism is highly commendable, but still maintain that a little marketing wouldn’t do any harm.
I was therefore excited to hear that Botswana is set to be promoted at the world’s biggest travel expo next year. President Ian Khama recently made this revelation when delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament. The International Tourismus-Börse (ITB) held in Berlin, is a leading travel trade show, providing a business platform for global touristic offers.
President Khama also revealed that Botswana is the first Sub-Saharan African country to partner with ITB. Meanwhile, the President said there has been a general increase in the level of citizen investors in tourism. To date, a total of 1322 operations have been licensed, 834 of which are 100% citizen owned.
ITB Berlin Travel Show At a Glance
As the Leading Travel Trade Show, ITB Berlin is the biggest business platform for global touristic offers. In addition, ITB Berlin boasts of very high exhibitor satisfaction (over 90%). Like in the case of Botswana, 2016 was a special year for ITB Berlin as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Following its founding in a small setting in 1966, ITB Berlin quickly developed into a global success, turning it into the world’s leading travel trade show that it is today. The website explains that the name ITB Berlin stands for growth, expertise and ‘internationality’.
The history of ITB Berlin is closely connected to the history of international tourism. They state on their website that it is a history full of fascinating places and cultures, moving experiences and encounters, as well as moments of great historical importance, which ITB Berlin proudly states was rekindled and celebrated on the occasion of their 50th anniversary this year.
ITB Berlin in Figures
1000 Qualified Top Buyers
26,000 Convention Visitors
60,000 Private Visitors
120,000 Trade Visitors
160,000 Square meters
7 Bn. Euro turnover
Reference: YaRona FM News and www.itb-berlin.de
Photo credit: www.itb-berlin.de