Botswana to Allow Chartered Flights to Boost Tourism Sector

Botswana says it will allow chartered flights to the country's prime tourist destinations starting November 1, in an attempt to boost a sector that has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flights will be allowed to land at two airports in Maun and Kasane, two prime tourist resorts, in the vicinity of the vast Okavango Delta. 

Botswana's minister of environment, natural resources conservation and tourism, Philda Kereng, said in a statement that the government is finalizing rules to facilitate the arrival of tourists.  

These will include protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19, she said.  

Tour operators around the world's largest Delta are optimistic following this week's announcement. 

Reaboka Mbulawa, who runs safari lodges in Maun, said the move will help resuscitate a dying sector. 

"It is better, as major companies start to kick in, we will be waiting and preparing. As it is, we went into town, we saw a whole lot of stuff being taken into the Delta. It shows you that the other side of the industry has mobilized."       

However, Mbulawa believes the opening will only benefit the "bigger players" in the tourism industry. 

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Source: Voice of America