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Tourism sector on recovery mode

The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) has indicated that the international tourism sector has started recovering, with full recovery expected in 2024 or later.

In a recent statement regarding the domestic and global tourism market, HATAB noted that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) latest update shows that should the recovery remain constant, recovery to the 2019 normal receipts and tourist arrivals is anticipated in 2025.

According to UNWTO panel of experts, most tourism professionals (61%) see better prospects for 2022. While 58% expect a rebound in 2022, mostly during the third quarter, 42% point to a potential rebound only in 2023. A majority of experts (64%) now expect international arrivals to return to 2019 levels only in 2024 or later, up from 45% in the September survey.

UNWTO recent figures show that international tourist arrivals could grow by 30% to 78% in 2022 compared to 2021. However, this would still be 50% to 63% below pre-pandemic levels, according to the organization. The organization expressed confidence that despite the challenging economic environment that could put additional pressure on the effective recovery of international tourism, the sector could record growth.

The surge in oil prices, increase in inflation, potential rise in interest rates, high debt volumes and the continued disruption in supply chains could put pressure on recovery of the sector. However, the ongoing tourism recovery in many markets, mostly in Europe and the Americas, coupled with the widespread vaccination rollout and a major coordinated lifting of travel restrictions, could help to restore consumer confidence and accelerate the recovery of international tourism in 2022, said the organization.

In a recent survey, University of Botswana researchers stated that the recovery of Botswana tourism market depends on the recovery of the international market, as the local tourism sector depends on international tourists.

In the survey researchers indicated the local tourism sector made considerable losses, with some hotels operating at less than 10% of their capacity, following the depressed global tourism sector and decline in the number of international tourists coming to Botswana in 2019-2020. The researchers noted that recent figures show that local tourism establishments lost approximately P1, 283,422.74 (around P1.2 million) on average during the first 2 months of COVID 19 travel bans and trade restrictions.

Researcher Wame Hambira indicated that even though the disease spread in Botswana has been low compared to other countries, the economic repercussions have been far reaching within the tourism sector and noted that this is worrisome considering that the sector is the second largest revenue earner in the country.

Dependence on the international market has made the sector vulnerable to the effects of the disease outbreak, as the main countries from which tourists come are among the most affected by the global pandemic, she said. She indicated that recent figures show that around 80 percent tourists who come to Botswana are from Africa while the remaining percent come from countries such as the United States, Germany and the UK.

However, revenues from overseas far outweigh those from the African continent due to the countrys high value/low impact tourism strategywith the goal of minimizing environmental impacts and at the same time maximizing socio-economic benefits, she said.

Botswana is a popular tourist destination for international tourists, predominantly those from North America and Europe. The travel and tourism sector in Botswana contributed 11.5% to the countrys annual GDP and 26,000 jobs before COVID 19, according to World Travel and Tourism Council. It is the second contributor to the countrys economy, after diamonds.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’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 country’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.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

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.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

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 company’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.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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