ABSA navigates Tourism industry
Absa Bank Botswana has pledged its support for tourism businesses in and around the Okavango Delta as the industry shows positive signs of recovery from the effects of Covid-19.
Speaking at the bank’s Customer Appreciation Dinner at Crocodile camp in Maun last Thursday, Absa’s Botswana’s Managing Director, Krishnan Menon explained this is because their bank is committed to being a strategic partner in Ngamiland’s recovery, economic growth and development.
“We are positive about the prospects of Maun and the district at large, which is particularly endowed with fertile land for agriculture and natural resources which set it apart for tourism,” he declared.
Acknowledging the importance of both agriculture and tourism in government’s diversification agenda, Menon said, “As a bank, we continue to align our strategy to support government’s agenda through supporting industries such as tourism and agriculture sectors which are for Botswana’s transformation and sustainable growth.”
Menon added that even though the tourism sector w one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, signs of recovery are evident, effectively placing the sector at crossroads.
“The measures put in place will shape the tourism of tomorrow!” he exclaimed
The recovery signs Menon indicated include among others: Botswana’s successful vaccine rollout, low hospitalisation and deaths related to Covid-19.
He stressed this will go a long way in restoring confidence in travellers.
Although it might take a while to return to pre Covid levels, Menon stressed the participation of locals in the promotion of domestic tourism has given Batswana opportunity to appreciate the beauty of their own country.
It also helped lessen the negative economic impact in the tourism businesses and the livelihoods of people within the region.
Confirming this, Botswana Tourism Organisation Marketing Executive, Dawson Ramsden noted the pandemic had shown there was potential in local tourism.
“We have seen a lot of 4×4 clubs coming up, exploring Makgadikgadi and other destinations, so let’s not forget the local market now that Covid is behind us,” said Ramsden, imploring established tourism business to create incentives for corporate clients and employees to travel locally.
He further noted local tourism had diversified from the traditional wildlife and photographic tourism to include other sporting, cultural and entertainment activities, citing the annual Makgadikgadi Epic and Khawa Dune Challenge as examples.
He added the high turnout at this year’s Epic was an indicator that everyone is hungry to travel.