Hotels and lodges in Francistown experienced a welcome boom in business during the just ended Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa (COSSASA) Athletics Championship.
The regional three-day track and field event, which brought together participants from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Lesotho, roared into life on Monday and ended Wednesday at the Francistown Sports Complex.
The annual competition is aimed at grooming future field and track stars – aged between 12 and 18 – in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Speaking at the official opening of the Championships on Monday, Francistown Mayor, Sylvia Muzila noted the event had provided a timely boost to the second city’s economy.
“From Francistown operators’ updates, all big hotels and registered lodges are fully booked, with most of the customers honouring their bookings through payments,” revealed the Mayor.
Muzila paid special homage to the Namibian contingent, praising their athletes’ parents for turning up in numbers to support their children.
“Your (Namibians parents) visit to Botswana and Francistown in particular has boosted the bookings in our hotels and lodges. We would like more parents to be like you,” she said, adding that the Northern capital has a lot to offer as far as tourism is concerned.
Elaborating on this point, President of COSSASA, Johnson Madhuku said events of this nature have the potential to benefit the host countries’ tourism industry.
Madhuku pointed out that some of the technical officials and participants were visiting Botswana for the first time.
“Chances of one or two revisiting Botswana are very high. Besides nurturing talent and grooming future stars, we are trying to promote tourism amongst the member states,” concluded Madhuku.