Domestic Tourism In Botswana: An Examination Of Nature – Based Tourism Constraints
During the last fifty years, Botswana’s economy experienced one of the fastest growth in the world. The country has adopted tourism as one of its economic diversification development pillars, apart from mining and agriculture. Delivering on the new growth model for Botswana requires the country to practice sustainable tourism development. This paper provides a systematic assessment of nature-based tourism in Botswana by examining issues associated with its conception, design and implementation. The study explores factors that limit citizens’ visitations to protected areas, the premier tourism destinations in the country. The Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve were purposefully selected as study sites for effective domestic tourists while Maun, Palapye, Francistown and Gaborone were chosen as sites representing potential domestic tourists. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and the Hierarchical Model of Leisure Constraints (HMLC) guided the investigation. Results indicate that intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints play a significant role in limiting visitations to protected areas. Intrapersonal hindrances include the culture of leisure and travel being relatively new in Botswana while interpersonal obstacles include a shortage of reasonably priced accommodation for families. Structural constraints include the inaccessibility of protected areas and lack of finances. The findings are critical in informing tourism planners, managers, and policy makers to critically evaluate, assess and devise appropriate interventions to tap on this market segment.
Keywords: Botswana, domestic tourism, traveling constraints, protected areas, Hierarchical Model of Leisure Constraints