Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) hosted the annual Race for Rhinos last weekend which has been hailed as the largest air show in Africa.
It attracted 121 aircrafts which even by world standards turned it into a massive event. Though only 116 aircrafts took part in the competition, flying enthusiasts were treated to a spectacular as the aircrafts scaled Botswana skies at Sua Pan.
Former President Ian Khama urged Batswana to learn more about aircrafts. He said the event won a world award in Paris, France two years ago as the most innovative tourism event, adding that that goes on to show the impact it has made so far.
BTO’s Marketing; Products and Events Manager Thabang Segaetsho said their aim is to take the event to all people across the world so that they can see the beauty that is Botswana. On what they are doing to make sure that Batswana participate in the race which is mostly dominated by outsiders, Segaetsho said they always encourage citizens and residents to come and be part of the event.
“One reason why most local aircrafts do not participate is because this is a busy season for them since most of them are based in the Okavango. As such they choose business than coming here and hopefully as the event grows they will see the need to participate,” he said. Segaetsho said they empower local communities such as vendors, including youth and people enrolled under the poverty eradication programme.
The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama said the race is all about conservation of rhinos, while at the same time diversifying the local tourism offering.
“What is nice about this is that people pledge when they come here towards the rhinos and this raises awareness. The number that comes here shows that the publicity is amazing and the event will continue to grow. All these people leave understanding the landscape of Botswana tourism and our stand in conservation and preservation,” he said.
He said they make sure that the environment is not contaminated by taking many measures to avoid degradation and contamination.