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ABSA South African Championship 2007 Special-Newssection

This is the single-news section of the special of the ABSA South African Offroad Championship series 2007. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

ABSA 2007: Toyota 1000 Desert Race a boost for Botswana Tourism.

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race, to be run this year from June 15 to 17, provides an annual boost for tourism in Botswana - and also provides the economy with a major foreign exchange injection. "In terms of boosting the economy and tourism, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race is one of the most important events of the year in Botswana," said Skean Drummond, representative of the Four Wheel Drive Club of South Africa committee in charge of organising this year’s event. The Four Wheel Drive Club, first formed in 1972, has been involved with the event since its inception.

"The race has over the years provided a major boost to the Botswana economy, and has also had a major affect on tourism," said Drummond. "A great many of the visitors for the race have also discovered Botswana as a leisure destination. This has provided the tourism industry with a boost, but the event also provides opportunities along the route for small scale entrepreneurs to provide a wide range of services to competitors and spectators."

Drummond added that over the years the Four Wheel Drive Club, along with principal event sponsor Toyota, had developed a close working relationship with Botswana government departments and with the Botswana police. This year around 400 members of the Botswana police will be deployed to help with traffic and crowd control along the route.

It is estimated that the event will draw up to 50 000 spectators from South Africa, Botswana and neighboring territories over the three days. "We get tremendous co-operation from the Botswana authorities," Drummond said. "Organising and running the Toyota 1000 Desert Race is a major logistical exercise, but the help from local authorities makes the job a lot easier."

Drummond added that around 160 officials were involved in this year’s race organisation, and would be supplemented by 13 medical and rescue vehicles. All race officials will be in radio communication.

"In many respects this is a unique event," said Drummond. "Competitors have to put up with rivers, mud, deep sand, rocks and thorn trees and along the route the local communities - along with cows, donkeys, goats and chickens - add a truly African flavour to the race."

2007/05/29 | 11:22 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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