- Advanced Travel Receipts which up from P34m to P53m year-on-year
- Group revenue up 326% from P27.8m to P118.3m year-on-year
- Lifting of state of emergency, alcohol ban a factor in resurgence in bookings
- Removal of southern African countries from Britain’s Red List another factor
New forward bookings have been extremely encouraging at ecotourism outfit Chobe Holdings Limited as evidenced by the value of Advanced Travel Receipts which have grown from P34 million to P53 million year-on-year, CEO and Group Deputy Chairman, Jonathan Gibson, has said.
According to Gibson, with the grip of COVID-19 having eased considerably in the last few months, booking volumes in the New Year have returned to levels experienced in company’s best years of the past.
“And in some instances, it even exceeds those levels,” he said, in the Chobe’s financial results for the year ended 28 February released recently.
“There are many reasons for this, some of which include the fact that Botswana has lifted its state of emergency and alcohol ban. In addition, southern African countries have been removed from Britain’s Red List, all of which has served to assure travellers of their safety and enjoyment rights.”
Further, Gibson said the relaxation of local travel restrictions during the year under review allowed the company to take advantage of being able to offer to the domestic and regional market selected properties at rates considerably less than those demanded from overseas travellers.
“The response from this sector, though positive in terms of the opportunity to travel to destinations previously considered out of the reach of most, was insufficient to render to the group operational profitability owing to the relative size of this market and the relatively high-cost profiles of our properties in terms of lease fees and others,” he said.
“Disregarding impairments and amortisations, the loss before tax was reduced from about P44 million to about P11 million.”
This is the Group that has also seen its revenue increasing by 326 percent from P27.8 million in the prior year to P118.3 million in the year under review.
Even so, Gibson said increased energy, food, wage and other costs are of concern to Chobe and are being addressed as far as possible without compromising standards.
“Given that our revenue stream is mainly in US Dollars and our modest bed night rate increases, we do not believe the impact will be significant despite the increased cost to travellers in accessing our offerings,” he said.
“The variability of exchange rates could, however, play a significant role, either positively or negatively, in the determination of future earnings.”