Gaborone — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama says Botswana's performance at ITB Berlin 2017, the world's largest trade show, made him proud to be a Motswana.
Speaking at a luncheon President Khama hosted at the State House on March 19 for the team that traveled to Germany, Berlin, President Khama indicated that Botswana was well put on the world map.
"I want to give special recognition to the artistes for an awesome job done and also say that our artistes' performances are forever improving," he said, adding that Botswana's ambassadors in different countries were always raving about the artistes they engaged at their various functions.
He said Botswana's artistes were proving to be "up there with the very best and no country in Africa beats Botswana in terms of the standard of quality exhibited by our artistes."
He indicated that after he saw the opening ceremony by Botswana in Germany, he was keen to show his appreciation hence he arranged for the luncheon.
President Khama further said it had been reported that over 4 000 people from all over the world attended the opening ceremony and witnessed the spectacle put up by Botswana.
"I spoke to many people after the show and one particular gentleman told me that he had been attending the ITB Berlin event for the past 10 years and in those 10 years he has never seen anything like what Botswana did. He said it was the best performance he had ever seen and it gave him goose bumps," he said.
President Khama also commended Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) for a 'tremendous job' of putting Botswana on the map with their various campaigns and television programmes.
"You have done an amazing job with regard to our tourism and culture. People the world over know about our country and what we have to offer. I would like to also commend tour operators who have significantly improved our hospitality sector and in recent years some of them have won international awards coming off in position one," said President Khama.
"I would also like to extend my gratitude to the sponsors that came on board and sponsored various parts of the show and exhibitions. The chefs also did a splendid job on representing and showing the best of Botswana's cuisine," he concluded.
For his part, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Mr Tshekedi Khama said Southern Africa's tourism industry was expected to receive a large boost with Botswana having pulled a fast one on other African tourist destinations by becoming the first country on the continent to become a partner of the largest travel trade show in the world, ITB Berlin 2017.
"Sometime in 2014 I traveled to Berlin and happened to make a stop at ITB Berlin and after seeing what was happening there I felt we could do a better job and indeed we pulled it off," he said.
He said the Botswana team performed beyond expectations and it was all because of teamwork and no words could describe it.
"Botswana's role as the partner country of the world's largest travel trade show will ensure the long-term attention of the global tourism industry," he said.
Source : BOPA