Some 130 tour operators drawn from home as far afield as the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA attended the third Botswana Tourism and Travel Expo this week. Speaking at the event the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama said they are focused on conserving and guarding the natural resources that Botswana has. He said their efforts in conservation show the extent to which they would go to make sure that wildlife in Botswana is taken care of.
He detested the legalisation of the sale of domestic rhino horns in South Africa because he believes there is no difference between a poached rhino horn and the one that has been bred locally. He said even though some people might not get it, in Botswana the story is about wildlife first and they as people are the mouth since it (wildlife) cannot speak for itself. “Now there is important need for intensified human and wildlife co-existence, and that is what we want to instill in Batswana and the people of Chobe,” he said, He is very confident that Botswana will become the biggest wildlife sanctuary in the world because of the measures that it has in place.
He revealed that as far as it stands now there about 200 000 elephants in Botswana, the highest number in any other place. With the Makgadikgadi as the biggest pan in the world, Tsodilo and Mashatu Game Reserve offering exclusive scenery, Khama believes that Botswana should go very far as it is the world’s best kept secret. “We are guilty of keeping Botswana as a secret and it is time now that we reveal Botswana to the world,” he said. The minister also revealed partnership with the Sky Dive Dubai where they will be coming to Botswana to host the Africa’s BIGGEST Sky Diving event next year. They got attracted by the Makgadikgadi epic, and chose Botswana for their event. The other thing that the minister was happy to share was the listing of the Okavango as the best place to visit for 2017/18.
He said this goes to show that the tourism board has gone to great lengths to show Botswana to the world. Asked whether he does not think Botswana is expensive by the international media, Khama said they will always continue to use the high value-low impact ratio because they do not want to disturb the ecosystem. Tourism Board Member Jonathan Gibson said Botswana has proven to be a rarity in the world and that is why everyone wants a piece of her. He recognised that BTTE has grown tremendously since its inception three years ago and hailed partnerships with the international media for the growth.