Mmegi Online :: Govít warns illegal tourism operators
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Govít warns illegal tourism operators

In a bid to tighten its grip on the tourism sector, government is going to clamp down on tourism businesses that operate illegally.
By Isaac Pinielo Tue 05 Sep 2017, 14:43 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Govít warns illegal tourism operators








The sector has been identified as a significant driver of the country’s economic diversification efforts.

Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Goitseone Madikwe told Mmegi Business that the Department of Tourism will identify tourism businesses that are operating illegally. She said such businesses will be brought to book in accordance with the provisions of the Tourism Act.

“It is only after getting evidence that indeed such businesses are operating illegally that they are instructed to cease operating with immediate effect,” she said.

According to Madikwe, a number of illegal operators are identified from time to time, adding that this year about three enterprises were found to be operating illegally and were closed or had their licences revoked.

Apart from closing illegal operators, Madikwe said the department works in collaboration with the Botswana Police Service to administer the necessary penalties such as admission of guilt.

In order to identify illegal operators, she said the department, as part of its mandate, carries out routine departmental monitoring exercises, noting that now and then tourism inspectors carry out surprise checks on tourism

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establishments.

She said the identification of illegal operators is also assisted by reports from members of the public, other tourism enterprises and aggrieved clients.

“In accordance with the Tourism Act of 2009, no tourism enterprise is allowed to operate without a valid tourism enterprise licence,” Madikwe said.

She further indicated that it is the duty of the tourism officers to ensure that illegal operations are stopped, adding that licensing and monitoring of the tourism operations ensures that tourism facilities comply with quality standards.

She said the department is charged with the responsibility of educating and guiding the public at large and potential tourism operators about the importance of tourism, the types of tourism businesses they can partake in, tourism statistics and trends.

“The department also assists in the acquisition of licences for tourism related business opportunities,” she said.

However, she said the department of tourism does not have any targeted illegal tourism operators.

A few years ago, the government established a task force to investigate illegal operations in the tourism industry, which has been identified as a significant driver of the country’s economic diversification efforts.

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