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.
Chinaâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.
The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The countryâ€™s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.
In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.
Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.
China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.
Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.
On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.
According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.
The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.
Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.
According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.
The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.
Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.
Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the companyâ€™s market capitalization.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana. Â The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.