The Midweek Sun
From page 20 Sun Sports:
Over 100 players and support staff stayed in local hotels. Could you elaborate on their duration of stay and the approximate revenue generated for the hospitality sector?
Oaitse Thipe: We hosted a Zimbabwean referee for a 16-day stay in hotels, and the combined accommodations for players and their families at Avani and nearby hotels.
Sun Sports: Local restaurants and eateries seemingly benefited from hosting players and coaches. Were there notable increases in footfall or revenue during the tournament period?
Oaitse Thipe: We covered lunch expenses for journalists, officials, and guests – providing over 40 lunches daily for two weeks. This brought substantial revenue to restaurants, and both franchise and clubhouse establishments reported increased sales from dinners and lunches.
Sun Sports: The partnership between the BTA and Air Botswana facilitated transportation. Can you provide insight into this partnership and its economic advantages for the transportation industry?
Oaitse Thipe: We’re still in the process of gathering figures from players outside the continent and from North Africa to forge a formal relationship with Air Botswana. However, taxi services profited from transporting players to various locations, and Air Botswana significantly benefited from connections at OR Tambo International Airport.
Sun Sports: Participation from strong currency nations suggests potential foreign exchange earnings. Have studies been conducted on the currency inflow from international participants?
Oaitse Thipe: Indeed, our entry fee is in US dollars, contributing to the tournament’s sustainability. Additionally, paying officials in equivalent US dollars helps cover costs, resulting in a valuable injection of foreign exchange.
Sun Sports: Beyond revenue gains, how has the growth of sports tourism through ITF tournaments impacted the local job market?
Oaitse Thipe: The current tournament scene has generated various opportunities, including racket stringers working tirelessly, local coaches engaged by foreign players, officials gaining experience, and physios on standby for player injuries. The club house restaurant has also increased hiring for wait staff.
Looking ahead, the BTA plans to host more tournaments in the upcoming months. What are your expectations for their future impact on revenue generation and community engagement?
Sun Sports: Oaitse Thipe:
Our aspiration to host 10 weeks of tournaments in the coming year signifies a substantial growth opportunity. Adding events like ITF J30, ITF $15k for both women and men, and ITF/CAT under 14, catering exclusively to African players, will create a robust value chain. With the combination of these international and local tournaments, the positive effects on various sectors will undoubtedly be immense.