Mmegi Online :: Guides urged to explore new tourism ventures
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Guides urged to explore new tourism ventures

MAUN: The Member of Parliament for Chobe, Machana Shamukuni has challenged the Botswana Guides Association (BOGA) members to explore emerging opportunities within the local tourism sector from the traditional wildlife-based product.
By Boniface Keakabetse Wed 14 Jun 2017, 17:02 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Guides urged to explore new tourism ventures








He said operators must not put all emphasis on trying to be allocated tourism concessions in the Delta and Chobe as there are other opportunities in the offing. 

Shamukuni explained that in a Parliamentary question he previously posed in Parliament, he learnt that from the 30 existing concessions in the Delta, only four are operated by 100% owned Botswana companies.

In Shamukuni’s view, this is a hard pill to swallow adding that it does not mean local operators have to be impassive to other emerging opportunities. Such emerging opportunities, he said, include the development of ecotourism guidelines for forest reserves. 

Shamukuni explained that as per the reviewed guidelines, locals are able to utilise forest reserves for tourism.

“We lost in concession areas allocation and the river frontage plots, but the forest reserves offer a new opportunity to pay for the loss,” he said.

Shamukuni said the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) stands at a mere 3.7%.  He said the sector is underperforming as it has the potential to

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contribute more than 10% to the GDP annually. 

He expressed regret about Botswana’s continued slippage in global competitiveness as per the World Economic Forum Report on Travel and Tourism.

The North West District Council chairman, Duncan Enga who is one of the founding members of BOGA was however not so positive when giving vote of thanks. 

“The dream of Batswana, like all gathering here, is to one day operate a concession area. If that does happen in my time, I hope that my child will one day operate a tourism concession area,” he said.

Enga further complained about stagnation in the implementation of the agro-tourism policy adding that despite the policy and guidelines having been finalised, all the concerned departments being the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security are still not prepared to implement it. 

BOGA was established in 1999 at the request of guides here to provide a platform for them and small scale operators to champion their business interests.

 

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