Cancellations Of Tourism Events As A Result Of The Coronavirus
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
By Bokani King
Botswana has cancelled some of its national tourism events in response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, while others have been put postponed. Some of the most popular tourism events include Khawa dune Challenge, Toyota 100 Kalahari Desert Race and Makgadikgadi Epic.
In a statement issued last week, BTO CEO Myra Sekgororoane stated that they cannot distance themselves from global developments, hence taking a decisive action to protect the wellbeing of people and economies. She further stated that the cancelation of the event also provides hotels and service providers in these areas an opportunity to engage with other activities to attract local travel.
“Sport tourism events have been on the forefront of boosting tourism in the country, attracting participants from across the world for their various events. ”
TDR 1000 is spearheaded by the South African Cross-Country Series (SACCS) in collaboration with Botswana Tourism Organisation, SPEDU, Selebi Phikwe Town Council, the Central District Council Secretary, Deputy District Commissioner - Selebi Phikwe, Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and Botswana Motorsport (BMS).
Sport tourism events have been on the forefront of boosting tourism in the country, attracting participants from across the world for their various events.
“Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the avenue of postponement for this iconic event to take place in Botswana later in the year is not possible in view of other planned events and the seasonal conditions,” said Sekgororoane.
Earlier this month, Sekgororoane said top grossing events such as the 1000km Desert Race popularly known as Mantshwabisi, the Khawa Dune Challenge and Makgadikgadi Epic have been put on a cautionary advisory. However, should these events be cancelled, Sekgororoane added that they would try to minimise the financial impact for the events’ stakeholders.
Khawa Dune Challenge & Cultural Festival which was billed for May 22nd -23rd generates a visibly large portion of income for businesses run by the Khawa community, grossing an estimate of P7.7 million for the entire Kgalagadi District economy on weekends the event is held.
BTO has identified Dam Tourism project as a way to diverse the tourism offering around the SPEDU Region, therefore the joint collaboration with the communities is expected to contribute towards the diversification of the tourism product and improvement of the livelihoods of the people.