Tourism Sector Continues to Grow

| November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

The tourism industry has played an important role in economic diversification with the sector currently employing around 35 000 people.

This was revealed by President Lt Gen.Seretse Khama Ian Khama during the State-of-the-Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, November 13. He said the industry has experienced 45 per cent increase in licensed enterprises in the past decade with recent growth largely driven by citizen investment.

President Khama pointed out that in 201314 alone , 135 newly licensed citizen-owned enterprises were registered. He explained that as of May 2014, 61 per cent (enterprises) were citizen-owned, 23 per cent were joint ventures, while only 16 per cent were foreign owned.

“To further fuel this positive trend, we are continuing to find innovative ways to promote a broadening of the tourism product, in collaboration with the Botswana Tourism Organisation, private sector and civil society partners.

Our progress is evidenced by the number of new attractions being opened up in less developed areas such as Kgalagadi, Tswapong and Bobirwa. With the approval of management plans, we will soon also open up dams for tourism and recreation purposes,” he said.

He explained that such areas as Makgadikgadi Epic sky dive, Khawa Dune Challenge, and the Toyota Kalahari 1000 Desert Race were bringing in visitors while raising the country’s profile.

“Another means through which we are diversifying our tourism is the development of historic and cultural, as well as natural heritage sites,” said President Khama. According to him, several heritages such as Makgadikgadi Heritage Trail, which is one of the 74 heritage places across the country, have already been developed.

Lt Gen. Khama explained that following a decision to impose a moratorium on hunting on public land to conserve the wildlife heritage, the government was working with community based organisations to re-align their management plans to facilitate their transition from hunting to photographic tourism.

He told Parliament that communities and concessionaires were also being capacitated to undertake resource monitoring in their areas to allow them to track the impact of management interventions. He added that government was vigilant in protecting species like elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife against poaching.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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