The Midweek Sun

More tennis


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.

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