Business tourists dominated arrivals in Botswana during the first quarter of 2016 with 93,107 travellers entering the country, Statistics Botswana (SB) has said.
The figure represented 32.2% of overall arrivals of 484,717 for the quarter.
According to the statistical agency, travellers who came for purposes of visiting friends and relatives were 80,362, accounting for 27.8%.
Those in-transit and those who came for holiday were 65,596 and 41,868, constituting 22.7% and 14.5% respectively.
According to SB, the least number of visitors were those who came for ‘other’ purposes, which include those who arrived for religious pilgrimages, conferencing, sports and medical reasons.
This category had 7,807 visitors, making up 2.7% of total tourists during the quarter.
International tourist arrivals were 288,740, making up 59.6% of total in-bound travellers, while residents of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region accounted for a large portion of the tourists with 86.9% or 250,914 of overall tourists.
Zimbabwean nationals contributed the highest number of inbound travellers at 36.2% (175,289) followed by South African nationals at 30.7% (148,798) of total arrivals.
Road was the mostly used mode of travel at 92.6% or 448,939 while air travel accounted for 7.4% of all arrivals.
Males accounted for a bigger portion of arrivals with 65.4% of the total 484,717 arrivals.
Figures further showed that most tourist arrivals were in the 30-34 age group at 15.9%. “For total arrivals, this age group still accounts for the highest number of arrivals at 15.2%,” said SB.
On the other hand, the least number of arrivals were in the age group 60-64 at 4.2% for tourists and four percent for all arrivals.
Ramokgwebana Border Post was the busiest point of entry with 25.5% or 123,776 of total arrivals, followed by Tlokweng Border Post with 13.5%.
The highest number of arrivals was recorded in January at 36.7%, with February recording the least number of arrivals at 27.8%.
Tourists from key African countries, all in the SADC sub-continent, accounted for 84.6% of total tourists. South Africa and Zimbabwe provided tourists accounting for 41.3% and 40.1% respectively, of total tourists during the quarter. Amongst the four countries considered as key African countries that provided tourists during the first quarter of 2016, Zambia had the highest volume of same day visitors, accounting for 46.2% of combined same day visitors (18,703) for the four countries.
Zimbabwe and South Africa follow a similar pattern, with the majority of tourists from these countries coming for purposes of business and visiting friends and relatives.
More than half of Zambian tourists, 13,049 or 52.4% came for business, while 33.5% were in-transit. Tourists from Namibia were mainly in-transit, at 62.4% of total tourists from that country.
Most visitors from the African continent came mainly for the purposes of doing business with the exception of four countries; Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia, that had residents coming to Botswana mainly, for purposes other than business.