Tourism company tries to bounce back from travel bans
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United Nations World Tourism Organization says pandemic will cost global travel industry $ 2,000 billion in lost revenue this year. In late November, the UK imposed travel bans to countries in southern Africa – including Botswana – where the COVID-19 omicron variant has been first detected. Now that the UK has lifted these restrictions, things could change.
John Gibson, director of reservations and marketing for Chobe Holdings, a wildlife tourism operator listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, felt the impact of travel restrictions on his business.
“People must have tried to get back to Europe, to the UK. And it was very difficult for them because there was a limited number of flights, there are a lot of last minute changes going on and new routes being found, ”Gibson said.
Still, Gibson said, the company has been lucky; business had not returned to normal levels. “There weren’t as many guests in the country as there might have been. If it had happened at the height of the peak season it would have been very, very difficult, ”he said. “It’s not like you’re planning a trip to a tourist destination in southern Europe where it’s possible, for example, to have more flights. The capacity in these remote areas is very, very limited. “
Gibson said that although occupancy was below normal, bookings were resuming for 2022. the area, which employs so many people in northern Botswana.
Gibson sees the tourism industry as an industry that will continue to grow and contribute to “the protection of Earth’s last wilderness”.
“It is important that tourism develops as it should,” he said. “It has to contribute not only to people, but also to wildlife. And then in this way, we protect the fauna and we protect these vast spaces. “
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