Botswana tourism is flourishing as over two million tourists have visited the country in the past two years, said the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama.
According to the Botswana government’s Twitter page, Khama made the remarks during a meeting at Malatswai on July 24. He said the upsurge in the number of tourists in the country spurred the creation of direct and indirect jobs for Batswana.
“The increase in tourists visiting Botswana is also translating into job creation in other sectors related to tourism. At least 150,000 Batswana benefited directly or indirectly from tourism-related jobs such as at restaurants within the period and the World Tourism Organisation found that tourism provided for 18,000 direct jobs,” said Khama.
He said his ministry is committed to creating jobs, as it was the priority of the past and present presidents.
“Our President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is a former teacher, was concerned about educating students who then roam the streets unemployed.
He said tourism contributed immensely to the country’s purse, contributing about P10.5 billion in 2016/17 to the Gross Domestic Product.
The minister said as part of attracting tourism revenue, the vision of the ministry he leads is to ensure that tourists visit all parts of the country to consume culture, food and marvel at properly conserved wild animals.
Khama informed his electorate that plans were under way to consult Batswana on game farming and or ranching which would see Batswana rearing wild animals on ranches.
The move, he said would help spur and spread tourism all over the country without necessarily limiting it to wild animal concentration areas of Chobe and Ghanzi.
Therefore, Khama challenged the community of Malatswai to decide whether, upon the fencing of their community farm, they would rear cattle or wild animals.
He enumerated the advantages of game farming, but reminded them of the donors who had promised them cattle to stock their farm.
He said the farm would create employment for some of the residents of the village who were already benefiting by way of labour provision during fencing.