The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana is set to hold its 35th Annual Conference at Travel Lodge in Kasane from the 25-26 April 2019. The Conference will be held under the Theme: “Sustainable Tourism: A driving force for job creation, development and growth”. The Vice President, His Honour Slumber Tsogwane will officially open the event while the Keynote speaker will be The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Honourable; Kitso Mokaila.
The theme was selected on the basis that the tourism sector has been recognised by all stakeholders as a strategic sector in Botswana’s quest to diversify and transform the economy, especially in the critical dimensions of growth, inclusion, resilience and sustainability.
Therefore, through the Conference, HATAB seeks to demonstrate that the tourism sector has immense potential to significantly raise its contribution to Botswana’s economy through Government revenue, job creation, thereby positively transforming the livelihoods of Batswana. However, it has been observed that the sector performs significantly below its potential due to a range of resolvable constraints, key amongst them:
Deficiencies in the governance of the tourism sector: policies, strategies and plans being outdated and ill-suited to the demands of the tourism sector;
Under-investment in the public goods necessary to support the competitive development of the tourism sector;
Lack of adequate, relevant and up to date tourism data and analyses;
Under investment in catalytic infrastructure to crowd in private investment, particularly citizen investment, thus stifling entry barriers for small investors and citizen participation;
An undeveloped, limited tourism product base;
Poor quality services at strategic nodes in the tourism service line, mainly at the point of entry and in hospitality facilities. This could be due to serious gaps in the quality of the human resource base in tourism; and
Conflict among stakeholders, mainly between tourism activities and the interests of communities that host tourism resources due to inadequate systems of governance and benefit sharing.
HATAB stated on its website that based on the above, it is in the interest of the organisation to identify relevant speakers to come and assist in delivering the appropriate topics to address them and the expectations of the participants. This, it said, is with a view to making the conference more consequential and impactful in order to inspire stakeholder confidence in the transformative potential of sustainable tourism agenda.
With that in mind, the following sessions are to be covered at the conference to deliver the message
- Tourism Policy and Governance
- Product development base: opportunities and challenges
- Involvement of the key players in the benefit-sharing process
- Sustainable financing and investment: Public and Private perspectives
- Enhancing Destination Competitiveness
- Government Agencies policies and legislation Updates
As is tradition, the HATAB Annual Conferences will bring together captains of the industry, the business community, Senior Government officials, financial institutions, academic institutions, development partners, diplomatic missions and local communities to reflect on the challenges and opportunities within the tourism sector and recommend appropriate interventions. The conference is also aimed at promoting business to opportunities, collaboration and partnerships among the various stakeholders.
The conference will kickstart with an evening Welcome Cocktail Reception on 26 April and will conclude with a Closing Dinner.
Source: HATAB website