Tourism can contribute to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in poverty, gender and environment.
The department of tourism director, Ms Kelebaone Maselesele, said this in her presentation at the Vision 2016 national stakeholders’ conference in Gaborone recently.
She was reporting under the prosperous, productive and innovative nation pillar.
She said employment was estimated at 17 000 directly and 24 000 direct and indirect. She said tourism employment accounted for 4.5 per cent of formal employment.
The director said there were 63 per cent females while males stood at 37 per cent, something which she said was an empowerment to women.
Ms Maselesele said tourism sector had employed 93.3 per cent Batswana while 6.7 per cent were non-citizens.
She said in its effort to empower Batswana, government promoted the purchase of arts and craft by licensed tourism enterprises to support poverty eradication.
Ms Maselesele said this had transformed most individuals within the communities as they could count on the market. She said last year P817674.80 arts and crafts were sold. She said they had realised positive results through the community Based natural resource Management (CBNRM) policy.
The CBNRM policy promoted management, conservation of natural resources by rural communities, thereby deriving economic benefits and alleviating poverty.
She said government through CBNRM has ensured that communities benefit from tourism adding that in 2014/15 wildlife based CBNRM projects generated 515 jobs and P13m.
She said the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) is assisting seven communities to create employment and alleviate poverty. She said the revenue from these projects goes directly to community organisations and it plays a major role in the development of the rural economy.