Eager to attract tourists from Far East and South America
Affected by slow processing of their VISA applications
Occupancy goes up 6 % as revenue goes up 12 %
Chobe Holdings Limited CEO Jonathan Gibson says the delay in processing of Visas by local authorities for tourists from the Far East and South America is negatively affecting the group from tapping into these markets.
The group has relied mostly on traditional markets such as the America and Europe which Gibson – who also serves as the Deputy Chairman of Chobe Holdings – says are showing growth for the short to medium term.
Writing in the group’s annual report which was published recently, Gibson says there is potential for growth in newer and non-traditional markets such as the Far East and South America, but says this potential is being affected by the delay in Visa processing for nationals of these regions.
Gibson has also recognised the importance of Trade, Hotels and Restaurants sector in economic diversification away from mining.
The recently published financial statistics, which showed that this sector accounted for 24 percent of national output, was twice of the mining sector. Gibson says the economic diversification momentum away from mining is encouraging.
He says this is a significant development in the growth trajectory of Botswana, demonstrating clearly a sustainable way ahead, and beyond that of the finite limitations of mineral resources.
“To fully realise this future potential excessive, ponderous and over onerous regulation should be reviewed in constructive dialogue between the public and private sector,” says Gibson.
Chobe Holdings Limited owns and operates, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries 12 eco-tourism lodges and camps on leased land in northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia with a combined capacity of 317 beds.
During the period under review, Chobe Holdings saw occupancy increasing by 6 percent when compared to the same period last year.
Gibson says this is considered satisfactory in light of the increase in number of camps and lodges in Botswana, cheaper alternative destinations in the region and reduced capacity as a consequence of continuing lodge renovations and refurbishments.
The group recorded a 12 percent increase in revenue as a result of the aforementioned increase in bed nights sold, a marginal increase in achieved bed night rates in US Dollar terms and a significant contribution from the aircraft maintenance organisation.
An operating cost increase of 11% is considered satisfactory in light of increased volumes of business and current inflation levels, says Gibson, adding that the group’s strong cash position provides it with the opportunity to take advantage of any expansion opportunities that may arise.