Out of the 1,749 licensed operators, 1,238 are citizen-owned whilst non-citizens own 257 and the remaining 254 are joint ventures between locals and non-citizens. The reserved tourism categories for citizens include Bed and Breakfast, guesthouses, mobile safaris, dugout canoes and transfer of guests between airports and hotels. Speaking during the official opening of Room52Two Boutique Hotel recently, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the government through the cluster development model has identified tourism as a priority sector.
“Government will continue to ensure the implementation of the 2010 Tourism regulations and the Tourism Act of 2009 by reserving some licence categories for citizens,” he said.
In addition Masisi said the government would take additional measures including in particular the fast tracking of applications for change of land use to facilitate participation of Batswana in tourism and its associated activities.
President said that the percentage increases to 7.6% if tourism and its associated activities are included in the basket.
“Government is in the process of formulating the National Tourism Strategy and the Master Plan in order to guide the development of the sector in the country,” he said.
He further assured that more products and attractions, especially in areas that are not traditionally known as a tourist attraction, would be developed during the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP11).
He said the development of the sector, including diversification of sites, development of monuments and the expansion of tourism attractions and experiences are prerequisites for Botswana to secure a greater share of the regional and global market.
“Government is committed to improving the ease of doing business in Botswana by harmonising laws and regulations that are spread across different ministries to facilitate the business community including foreign investors with a view to optimising its contribution to the growth of the economy,” he said.