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MICE: Botswana’s path to sustainable growth in Tourism Economy

Publishing Date : 10 June, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Meetings, Incentives, Congresses, Exhibitions (MICE) could make Botswana a leading tourism destination, an African diamond capital, and contribute to sustainable tourism development and growth.


This was said by Africa Tourism Partners Chief Executive Officer, Kwakye Dankor during the MICE symposium in Gaborone on Tuesday. Dankor said worldwide practice showed that every fourth individual out of tens of millions people goes abroad on a business trip once in a while, adding that the travel and tourism industry globally is worth some 7 Trillion US Dollars with MICE Industry estimated to worth around 650 Billion US Dollars.


“International practice in Meetings, Incentives, Congresses, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism development and its potential benefits for Botswana is not only desirable, but also needful,”he said. He noted that the growth of such segment has made the development of MICE tourism relevant. Dakor explained that there are also international congresses and conventions, association conferences and exhibitions held annually, saying if the MICE strategy for Botswana was strengthened revenue could be earned and unemployment would be reduced.


Dankor further indicated that there was lack of appreciation and understanding for the tourism industry saying other countries especially the Asian and European countries had made the tourism industry a priority hence they received more arrivals of tourists. "Mainstreaming the MICE industry in Botswana can be done through strengthening destination management-organization model, undertaking baseline studies to understand visitor portfolio and formulation of business tourism and MICE industry.


He highlighted that upskilling and capacitance to professionalise DMCs and leveraging perceived affordability and environmental sustainability can also be taken in consideration when mainstreaming the MICE industry. He also implored Botswana to leverage technology, innovation and global endorsements and strategic partnerships.


"The new trends in tourists’ demands created possibilities for many countries to be competitive on international market, and business travel managers expected business travel to increase in the coming years. It is therefore vital that there had to be order in the tourism industry such as accommodation; catering, guidance and transportation, leisure and recreation or entertainment.


He cited that business and MICE related events that often attract more leisure travelers could be of FIFA world cup, the Olympics, world economic forum and the super Bowl. Dankor highlighted that catalysts for mainstreaming MICE tourism in Botswana are South Africa National Convention Bureau, Rwanda Convention Bureau, as well as Adelaide Convention Bureau.

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