Botswana To Accelerate Initiatives Aimed At Reviving Tourism Sector
An extract from President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s recent Covid-19 update to the nation
According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the COVID–19 pandemic caused a 22% fall in international tourist arrivals in the first three months of 2020 leading to a decline of 60%-80% in revenues.
In Botswana, Community Trusts and other tourism operations have had all their bookings for the current year cancelled leaving them with no source of income. Lack of hunting due to movement restrictions will continue to significantly affect revenue for our communities and other mobile safari services including freelance guides.
In order to revive Botswana’s tourism sector Government shall accelerate the initiatives aimed at stimulating local and regional tourism by creating an enabling environment for increased investment in the tourism sector and facilitate in particular citizen participation. The Agro Tourism guidelines are also being reviewed to facilitate citizens to make a decent living out of their fields (Masimo).
To compliment Agro Tourism and diversify its products, Game Farming guidelines shall soon be issued to enable those Batswana who are interested to keep small wildlife or game in their fields as they meet set criteria.
Furthermore, land reserved for Tourism purposes has been identified around the country and shall be made available to citizens for investment. This type of land has been identified in various districts such as, Kgatleng, Ngamiland, Chobe, Central and the South East.
I also want to assure the private sector that Government will continue to support you through strategic interventions as we move towards full economic recovery. There are many lessons that we have and will continue to take away as a nation during this crisis and one of them is the need to fast- track local production of essential goods and services.
In this respect, Government will move with speed to implement the amended Trade and Industrial Development Acts which will contribute in no small measure, to the economic empowerment of citizens. Similarly, Government will prioritise the enactment of the Citizen Economic Empowerment and the Economic Diversification Drive laws.