Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, said tourism was flourishing – with over two million tourists visiting the country in the past two years – and that tourism could further benefit by game farming.
The announcement was made during a meeting in Malatswai on July 24, where Khama said the upsurge in arrivals had spurred the creation of direct and indirect jobs in Botswana, according the government’s Twitter page.
“The increase in tourists visiting Botswana is also translating into job creation in other sectors related to tourism. At least 150 000 Batswana benefited directly or indirectly from tourism-related jobs,” said Khama.
He said tourism, as a significant contributor to the country’s economy, produced about P10.5 billion (€877m) in 2016/2017.
The Minister believes that tourists revere Botswana only for the wildlife, and suggested that there were many other aspects of the country that could be sold to tourists.
As part of attracting further tourism revenue, Khama said the vision of the Ministry was to ensure that tourists visited all parts of the country to enjoy culture and cuisine and witness properly conserved wildlife.
He said plans were under way to consult Batswana on game farming and/or ranching, which would see locals rearing wild animals on ranches.
The move, he said, would help spur and spread tourism to all parts of the country without necessarily limiting it to wild animal concentration areas of Chobe and Ghanzi.
Consequently, the Minister challenged the community of Malatswai to decide whether, upon completion of fencing their community farm, they would help rear cattle or wildlife.
He enumerated the advantages of game farming, adding that the farm would create employment for some of the residents of the local village, who were already benefiting by providing labour for the fencing project.