Botswana is capitalizing on strong and progressive policies to accelerate its tourism recovery efforts. To this end, the country has undertaken a number of initiatives to further strengthen the sector and consolidate its gains with among others, the improvement of livelihoods as one of the motivations.
This is according to President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi who made this known while addressing participants of the 5th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards in Gabarone.
“In 2021, we announced a new tourism policy that promotes active citizen participation in the tourism sector. Botswana’s tourism adaptation of the Value Chain business is underpinned by the principles of Citizen economic empowerment, job creation, tourism product diversification and investment growth as espoused in the Botswana Tourism Policy of 2021.
“A total of six areas have been prioritized for adaptation to the value chain principle and these include: Events Tourism, Cluster Development, Cultural Tourism Development, Community Project-Development, Community Projects and Dams Tourism,” he stated
At the heart of the policy is product development and diversification which is aimed at courting increased tourism in the Southern African country.
The President maintained, “This policy emphasizes product development and diversification as a key driver of growth within the tourism industry, and views the promotion of adventure and cultural tourism as an opportunity to attract more arrivals locally, regionally, and globally to complement our traditional wildlife tourism offering.”
Dr. Masisi averred that fora like the ATLF provides a fine opportunity for inter-governmental and institutional collaborations that are critical for tourism to flourish.
“This move towards increased activity plays a positive role in our economy and in creating employment in varied geographical locations. And all these, which I believe are similar to what is being done elsewhere in the world can only be achieved through forums like this one, characterized by collaborations between Governments, our citizens, the private sector, and our friends from around the world who are providing new skills and innovation for the tourism industry in Africa to thrive.” He emphasized.
The Botswana Leader also insisted that a new generation of tourists is emerging, and the hospitality and tourism sector is undergoing fundamental shifts in the way it operates, occasioned by changing global economies as well as government’s policies to operational efficiencies, and the need for seamless technology to delivering a flawless guest experience.
To adapt to these constant changes, “Industries are looking to adopt strategies to future- proof their business and to navigate rapidly changing technological landscapes. I, therefore, urge you to take this time to have an in-depth analysis of the trends and forecasts influencing travel patterns, and how you can take advantage of the opportunities that they bring to us in the tourism sector,” Dr. Masisi stressed.