Botswana Tourism policy Landscape – successes and challenges
The year 2016 marked Botswana’s 50th Independence Day anniversary. In terms of tourism development, 2016 marked 36 years since the publication of the first policy document aimed at the formalisation and control of tourism activities in the country. Prior to that, tourism activities occurred in an almost haphazard fashion. In the 1990s, the contribution of the tourism sector to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was insignificant. However, this sector has since experienced some rapid growth that saw it becoming the second biggest contributor to the GDP. Despite this development, very little has been done to profile the tourism policy context within which this has been taking place. This paper looks back and attempts to offer a retrospective analysis of Botswana’s tourism industry from the policy perspective. The paper attempts to evaluate the tourism policy landscape of Botswana by looking at different policy documents and assessing their influence on the tourism industry. It identifies the ways in which formulation of such policies either promotes or cripples the development of tourism in the country. The paper notes that several achievements have been made on the policy front. However, the current policy and legislative framework does not position Botswana competitively in the global market. In conclusion, the paper recommends for the harmonization of the tourism policy landscape in order to make the industry more responsive to the needs and wants of the tourists.
Key Words: Tourism Policy, Policy Landscape, Tourism, Botswana