UK Travel Agency website puts Botswana first

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana continues to outshine other African countries since the Okavango Delta was listed as the 1000th world heritage site. Recently, a UK-based travel agency, Tribe Travel, in association with Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) launched a new website to promote Botswana's tourism destinations. The new website went live on Friday 23 January 2015.

Tribe Travel director Amanda Marks said: "We definitely have knowledgeable specialists who can advise and book safaris in Botswana. But we also know that it's the people on the ground in Botswana, who are the real specialists."

The Safari Specialists section gives visitors to the website the opportunity to hear all about Botswana from the people that live and work there -- guides, camp managers, mokoro polers, conservationists, chefs and laundry maids for a unique, fascinating take on their country.

Other features of the website include choice suggested safari itineraries and prices, 100 lodges, camps and hotels with map and details. In addition, it has more detailed help for anyone considering a trip to Botswana for some inspiration, fancy meeting markets. Last year tourism is estimated to have contributed 8.4% to the Gross Domestic Product.

When Biztechafrica called the BTO offices to get the full facts, a respondent who preferred anonymity said they were yet to release a press statement after consultation with the BTO’s UK office. “We have received a lot of enquiries from the media as of this morning, we are planning a media brief so as to explain the exact issues surrounding the new website.” However, by the time of going to press, no statement had been issued by BTO.

Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) is a parastatal corporate body established through the Botswana Tourism Organisation Act of 2009 to: Plan, develop and implement tourism marketing and promotion strategies for Botswana; Determine and advice Government on policies as well as implement such policies; Establish and expand local and international travel trade networks; Manage and coordinate Botswana tourism promotional and publicity programmes.

It also seeks to provide market research information and market intelligence; grading and classification of tourist accommodation facilities; promote and improve industry standards; Conduct tourism awareness campaigns in and outside the country; develop and improve existing tourism opportunities and diversify the sector into other forms of tourism; and  market and promote the establishment of joint tourism business ventures between citizens and foreign investors.

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