Cultural Landscapes And Tourism Development In Botswana: The Case Of Moremi Gorge In Eastern Botswana
Cultural landscapes of tourism are fundamentally contradictory sites considering the interests of all stakeholders involved in their management. Key contradictions relate to cultural authenticity, credibility, and the values that people who associate with such landscapes attach to them. The Botswana tourism industry needs to carefully confront these contradictions to maximize and sustain the tourist potential of cultural landscapes. In the World Heritage list there are presently 47 African cultural properties some of which, are considered as cultural landscapes as they bear exceptional cultural traditions of human settlements, land use, and associated with events, living traditions, and beliefs. Sukur (Nigeria), Koutammakou (Togo), Bassari (Senegal), Mapungubwe and Richtersveld (South Africa), Mijikenda Forests (Kenya), and Konso (Ethiopia) are some of the most representative sites. This paper uses secondary data to identify and discuss the impacts of tourism development on cultural landscapes. The paper further considers the implications of such impacts for the ancestral (Sedimo) or cultural beliefs of the people of Goo-Moremi Village. The paper concludes by discussing existing opportunities for developing the tourism-product base for Goo-Moremi cultural landscape based on their beliefs, taboos and the general tourism environment.
Key words: Cultural landscapes, tourism development, commodification, ancestral (Sedimo) beliefs, taboos, sustainability.