Botswana: Utilise Initiative – BTO Official

Maun — Tourism operators have been urged to take advantage of initiatives offered by financial institutions to sustain their operations.

An official from Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), Mr More Otsetswe said they should make use of such initiatives because COVID-19 impact survey of April 2020 painted a very gloomy picture in terms of the devastation the industry had suffered due to the pandemic.

He made the appeal when updating the business community about the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

The meeting was organised by National Development Bank (NDB) to sell their product, the Industry Support Facility (ISF) Fund to the business community.

Mr Otsetswe stated that some experts predicted that the year 2021 would be better, but things did not seem to be changing more so that Ngamiland District, which depended on tourism, had experienced a new COVID-19 strain.

He also said they anticipated the industry to suffer more, hence businesses should take advantage of available initiatives such as ISF Fund to ensure their businesses stayed afloat.

He appreciated that tourism sector was the second largest contributor to the national economy and that the sector was a key contributor to job creation, skills transfer and the development of new competencies.

The business community was also informed that the United Nations Socio-Economic Impact in Botswana predicted that though Botswana had strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the economy was expected to contract by an estimated 13.1 per cent due to COVID-19 impact.