23 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

A week full of new experiences for Botswana tour operators 

by: Simon Mmope          date: 26 April 2018

Tour operators and journalists from Botswana were overly impressed by the standard of tourism products they discovered during their five-day familiarization tour of Bokone Bophirima province. 

The tour was meant to expose them to some of the well-established tourism products in the province. They all could not stop talking about how great the province is and how it would make an exciting tourism route for their clients in Botswana.    

Kabelo Seitshiro, a journalist for Botswana weekend newspaper the Sunday Standard, hailed the initiative and commended the provincial tourism industry. 

“What we have experienced is out of this world. All the products we went to were amazingly beautiful. The province has potential to attract international tourists and can compete with major attractions. It was an eye opening experience, with good site visits of both well-established and upcoming products. I think Botswana tourists would have fun and great experience when touring these sites,” said Seitshiro.  
        
The team visited attractions like Stonehenge Resorts outside Parys near Potchefstroom, Hartebeespoort Dam where they went for a boat ride, the Hartebeespoort Snake and Animal Park, Pilanesberg National Park and Sun City Resorts, among others. 

Welcoming the team before the great tour, MEC for Tourism Desbo Mohono, explained to the team that the province is mostly rural and needs aggressive marketing, which is in line with the provincial concretes of prioritizing the Villages, Townships, Small Dorpies (VTSD). She said that marketing would remain key in ensuring that Bokone Bophirima becomes the most preferred tourism destination in the country. 

“Such ventures will ensure that our tour operators from Botswana and other countries get to understand the type of products we have in the province that will suite their packages. We also want them to have an experience of the products in the province so that they could channel their tourists to our province,” said Mohono.  

MEC Mohono further emphasized that Bokone Bophirima province is rich in culture and prides itself with the most amazing tourism products, history, heritage and wildlife, which distinguish the province from other areas. The tour was the platform for tour operators to meet and engage with new and exciting tourism products. In the sessions the provincial tourism products owners were afforded an opportunity to profile and market themselves through structured one-on-one engagements with the tour operators. 
 
Iain Gunn from the Haarties Cable Way expressed his gratitude towards the venture, saying North West Tourism and its Board have ensured that they were given an opportunity to showcase their products. 

“We really hope that this will assist us in expanding the market of our products. We have always wanted tour operators to have their own personal experience of our products, so that when they package their routes, they at least have an idea and experience of what we have on this site of the country. We are continuously getting tourists from Botswana on a daily basis and we always get a positive feedback,” said Gunn. 

Currently Bokone Bophirima prides itself with attractions such as Taung Dam, Thomeng, Taung Skull World Heritage Site, Dinkgwaneng, Vryburg town as the biggest producer of beef, Baberspan/Logadigadi Bird Sanctuary, Ka-Ditshwene Heritage Site, Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, Madikwe and Manyane Game Reserves, Sun City Resorts, as well High performance centres in Potchefstroom and Phokeng, among others. The province also has the Second World War battlefields, old buildings that are over 100 years old and many other state-of-the-art establishments. Ninety percent of attractions are in the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies areas and they attract over 50 thousand international tourists annually.