Thica Media’s Andre Erasmus reports the breakthrough follows an exclusive agreement between the world’s leading travel trade show and Botswana. The agreement was signed by Botswana Tourism Minister H E Tshekedi Khama II and Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH.
According to Tshekedi Khama, the Botswana Tourism Organisation has taken the opportunity to become the partner country of ITB Berlin 2017 to be able to share Botswana and Southern Africa’s nature conservation achievements with the rest of the world. The gateway to Botswana is South Africa as most international airlines fly via OR Tambo International Airport in Gauging, with many western tourists expected to spend some time in South Africa as well.
“Botswana’s role as the partner country of the world’s largest travel trade show will ensure the long-term attention of the global tourism industry.”
Pan-African website AfriTree.com quotes David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, who said Botswana is Africa’s best-kept secret. Two contrasting natural features characterise this country: the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Basin with its many animal species, large forests, and innumerable streams that empty into small lakes.”
He said the partnership will not only place the spotlight on Botswana’s tourism successes but will also focus attention worldwide on the ITB’s potential for economic development.
“In the past Botswana has achieved great success that has remained largely unnoticed around the world. Botswana will also benefit from this year’s 50th anniversary of ITB Berlin,” said Tshekedi Khama. “Numerous activities and events will give us the opportunity to market and promote our country as a tourism destination and to improve our returns on investment.”
In 2016 Botswana celebrated 50 years of independence. Often referred to as one of the last remaining gems of Africa, the country was quick to realise its potential as a tourism destination. The Republic of Botswana has been exhibiting at ITB Berlin every year since 1984, in an aim to make people around the world aware of its special attractions.
At ITB Berlin 2017 Botswana, as the partner country of the show, will be organising the opening event on 7 March 2017, and from 8 to 12 March 2017 will be entertaining visitors to ITB Berlin with a wide-ranging programme of events.