Destination Spotlight: Botswana


ForwardKeys has been paving the course for destination marketing and tourism since its inception in 2010 by creating bespoke data solutions using the latest and most comprehensive airline data in the market such as ForwardKeys Nexus. As such our team of analysts can spot a trend in advance and share insights that can turn your business around. This week with Christmas and the safari season around the corner in Africa, we zoom in on Botswana.

The Republic of Botswana is in southern Africa with up to 70% of its territory taken up by the Kalahari Desert and unspoilt nature reserves. Botswana has recently transformed itself into an upper-middle-income country, with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Tourism is an important sector.

Travellers haven’t given up on Botswana

The latest ticketing data by ForwardKeys for future travel to Botswana from 1 December – 1 November 2021 captures two main periods of travel: Christmas and then later in May – October, traditionally known as “safari season”.

202012-Botswana-blog-1“It’s interesting to see that people are still booking their holiday to Botswana next year based on seasonality, despite Covid19 and travel restrictions,” says Shingai George, Insights Expert at ForwardKeys.

And there is more good news, the issue tickets show that people are staying longer. The ticketing shows that the largest share of ticket volumes falls between 9 – 13 days and 14 days or more.


Clouds over Africa

Tourism in Botswana faces a major obstacle and that is having quick and smooth flight connections. A current trend noticed by the analysts at ForwardKeys is that under these trying times of Covid-19 people are preferring to travel from point to point. Indeed, connecting flights at international airport hubs are having a much slower reactivation.

There are several ways international travellers can arrive in Botswana, via Johannesburg and Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian capital is proving to be a reliable gateway into Botswana, with a steady increase in transfers since July. Something for tourism boards and tour operators to consider for the upcoming safari season in 2021.


“If there is one thing 2020 has taught us is that booking habits have changed. People are more inclined to book last-minute, so let’s see how this plays out for travel to Africa in 2021,” concludes George.

ForwardKeys recently participated in the Virtual Botswana Travel Expo, watch the full presentation to learn more about what’s on the horizon for this natural paradise known as Botswana.

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