SA, Zim tourists dominate Botswana visits

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Mpho Tebele

Gaborone - Botswana received the largest number of tourists from South Africa and Zimbabwe more than any other countries in 2017, figures released by Statistics Botswana have shown the research which was conducted in 2017 also show that the country had a total of 1,774,960 visitors in 2017. 

An increase of 3.7% was recorded for the numbers of visitors during 2017. Visitors from Zimbabwe account for 33.4% while those from South Africa represented 32.9% of total visitors during the year.

Tourists from the top 10 overseas countries accounted for 11.4% of total tourists during the year. 

Tourists who came for holiday accounted for 28.3% of total tourists during 2017, while those who came for business and visiting friends and relatives represented 23.2% and 22.5%. 

Tourists who entered the country by air represented 6.7% of total tourists during the year. 

Among the tourists who came by air, Sir Seretse Khama International Airport accounted for 54.4% while those who entered through Maun Airport represented 29.9%. 

December was the most popular month of arrival for tourists during 2017, with 11.0%, followed by July and August at 9.8% and 9.5% respectively. 

Ages ranging from 25 to 44 years combined, accounted for 53.1% of total tourists during the year.

A figure of 2,305,205 was recorded for all arrivals while 2,308,137 was recorded for all departures during 2017. Travellers in transit accounted for 26.2% of all arrivals, followed by those that came in for Holiday at 21.8%.

 Zimbabwe nationals accounted for 35.0% of arrivals and 35.9% of departures during the year under review. Arrivals of South African nationality accounted for 30.6% while departures represented 30.3% of all departures during 2017.

The Ramokgwebana Border Post which Botswana shares a border with Zimbabwe was the busiest during 2017, having received 21.9% of all arrivals while 19.9% of all departures went out through the same border post.

During 2017, Botswana received a total of 1,774,960 visitors, with 91.4% (1,622,588) accounted for by tourists (overnight visitors) while 8.6% (152,372) was attributed to same-day visitors.

The total number of tourists shows a 3.7% (62,726) increase compared to 1,712,234 during the previous year.

According to the report, most visitors came from Zimbabwe and South Africa, with the two countries contributing 33.4% (592,226) and 32.9% (583,930) of the total visitors during the year.

The majority of tourists, 84.5% (1,499,043), reside in the SADC Region.

 The figures, show that the top 10 overseas countries recorded 202,884 tourists, accounting for 11.4% of total tourists (1,774,960) during 2017.

Of the 202,884 tourists that came from the top 10 overseas countries, more than a quarter, 26.0% (52,733) were from the United States of America followed by those from Germany and the United Kingdom at 21.7% (44,059) and 14.1% (28,600) respectively.

Overnight ttourists from the top 10 overseas countries make more than 90% of the total tourists from each of those countries. With respect to United States of America, France, Canada and Japan, overnight tourists’ percentage contribution to total tourists were 88.0%, 89.4%, 89.6% and 82.8% in that order.

The report also included Zimbabwe and South Africa amongst 10 SADC countries that supplied Botswana with tourists during 2017.

Tourists residing in the top 10 countries of the SADC region make up 84.4% (1,497,413) of the total tourists during the year under review. 

This shows a decrease of 2.9 percentage points as compared to the region’s contribution of 87.3% during the previous year.

Zimbabwe and South Africa were the major contributors at 39.6% (592,266) and 39.0% (583,930) respectively. Overnight Tourists constituted at least 90% of total tourists at country level for the top 10 SADC countries, with the exception of Zambia and Namibia.

Day trippers from Zambia and Namibia accounted for 29.9% (38,038) and 23.4% (29,769), respectively, of all day trippers from the 10 leading SADC countries.

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