The leisure tourism sector might outweigh the business tourism industry but that may not stay the same for long. Business tourism is booming in Botswana and a significant potential for sustained growth in the coming decade has been identified. The World Travel and Tourism Council did wrote a research paper in 2016, predicting that the business tourism sector will be bringing in more than P5.8 billion a year by 2017.
The Southern African Development Community
Botswana’s ideal location in the middle of southern Africa makes it perfect for accessing the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with the headquarters of the SADC Secretariat housed in Gaborone. Gaborone also has the infrastructure and facilities to host world class, continent wide conferences, exhibitions and trade shows. The Botswana Conference and Exhibition Centre hosts some of the most prestigious national trade shows, such as the Botswana Consumer Fair, Global Expo Botswana, the FOBEX food and beverage exhibition and the ITEX information technology exhibition.
The Centre is owned by the government and the Botswana Development Corporation. It has been at the centre of the heart of Gaborone for over 30 years and has seen a host of skyscraping hotels springing up around it with top notch facilities and luxurious accommodation for the influx of business travelers. The Centre boasts two conference rooms, with capacities of 2000 and 10 000 people, as well as three smaller conference rooms for up to 500 people. For smaller groups, there are another 13 break-out rooms for small-scale conferences and seminars.
Gaborone Activities and Attractions
Gaborone has plenty of activities and attractions to encourage business travelers to stick around for a few days. With internationally acclaimed restaurants, sport and music venues and shopping malls, any business traveler will feel right at home. For the more adventurous tourist, Botswana is of course best known for its once-in-a-lifetime game viewing opportunities. There are nature reserves as close as 10km out of the city, perfect for a game drive between meetings or sundowners after a long day of closing deals.
Botswana’s modern cities are hubs of innovation and commerce. Botswana has ready to access trading enterprise with neighbouring countries and relatively easy entry procedures with South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Air connections are stable and reliable, with a wider than ever choice of direct flights by Air Botswana. The national carrier has also just upgraded its service with a new fleet of jets, offering even more service in the skies.
Botswana has a proven record of political stability, low taxation levels, an excellent telecommunications network, a well-educated and literate population, a consistently growing economy, a sound infrastructure and high security for investments. Botswana’s business tourism industry is coming of age and this means exciting things for Botswana in the future.