Tourism operators have been encouraged to embrace the ever changing technological advancements to grow the sector. Speaking at the unveiling of Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited’s (BTCL) Business in the Box product, the company’s Head of SME Account Charles Modisenyane identified tourism as a sector crucial to economic diversification. Modisenyane said if utilised, information communication technology solutions can help the country attain a service based economy as opposed to the current resourced based one. Business in the Box (BIB) is a product packaged by BTCL for its customers. The product provides consolidated business services in one platform using new technologies.
BTCL product developer Stanley Gwapela said BIB product is cost effective and convenient as it provides all the traditional office necessities in one platform. A number of office requirements such a telephone line, WIFI, switchboard, fax and other beMOBILE services are consolidated into the same box. Gwapela said the time has come to move from traditional devices and embrace the new technology that helps to improve services. “This product saves money as it is cheap and it also reduces maintenance and repair costs since BTCL is responsible for serving the box,” said Gwapela. He further said BIB eliminate untidy connections, saves energy and does not require expensive IT support.
Since BTCL has entered into a partnership with Botswana and Hospitality & Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB), Business in the Box also comes with an online booking system for tourism operators. This is a local online booking system that customers can use to find all tourism facilities in Botswana at a click of a button. A representative of Travel Botswana from Solid Care, Lame Gare said the online booking system provides a real time access and up-to-date bookings for all participating local tourism operators. Gare said there has been a very big gap in the tourism industry and the local online booking system will help minimise this gap.
“The revolution of ICT will never stop; as a result we have to keep in taps with the changing technology to improve our tourism sector,” said Gare. For a long time local bookings have been handled by foreign online sites which Gare said resulted in the money being taken to other countries. He now believes that with partnership between HATAB, BTCL and Travel Botswana, the money will be kept within the borders. This partnership will see tourists being able to access and book into all local facilities online. The online booking site also provides directions to the facilities through the GPS functionalities for those who do not know the places. According to Gare, the site is up and running. “We have tried this site with some of the operators and they are very pleased with its functionalities,” he said.