BOGA Cries Foul Over Challenges – Again!


  • And government again promises to help

The Botswana Guides Association took advantage of the presence of two government ministers and top government officials at its annual general meeting in Maun recently to catalogue, for the umpteenth time a litany of challenges that impede the operations of its members in the tourism industry.

The challenges range from shortage of campsites, increased park fees, poor roads within parks to complicated requirements of acquiring mobile safari licenses.  The association chairman, Kenson Kgaga called on government to allocate them more camp sites taking into consideration its role in promoting domestic travel and the participation of citizens in sector.

There is no doubt that availing more campsites to the association would further benefit domestic travel, as evidence by the impact the ones already allocated have had in the growth of the industry, Kgaga said.

Kgaga stated that as BOGA offers an alternative to budget travellers at their campsites, while the most discerning travellers would still go to camps and lodges in the Delta. He however called on government to award them camp sites in the delta to do water based activities.

Kgaga has also criticised government’s decision to increase park fees arguing that they could have been given enough time to recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19. He lamented that there was no doubt that the increase will impact on their businesses as they struggle to recover.

He added that the requirements of obtaining a mobile safari licences remains of great concern to the sector, arguing that for one to be required to have a land cruiser and also own a piece of land is quite costly by average Batswana and the youth.

Acting minister of environment and tourism Sethabelo Modukanele said that in an effort to enhance citizen participation in the tourism sector, government has to date allocated 67 permanent camp sites to BOGA.  He added that besides the permanent camp sites government is ready to allocate temporary camp sites to BOGA as and when the requests are made.

Modukanele urged BOGA to continue playing its role in transforming the tourism industry despite the challenges it faces.

He also challenged BOGA to adopt the reset agenda, and start doing things differently, adding that the ministry’s key responsibility under the transformation agenda is to bring reports on both tourism and environmental sectors in terms of tourism its responsibility is to drive citizen economic empowerment

Modukanele said that despite the potential that the tourism sector holds, there are a number of challenges that needs to be addressed to ensure transformation of this important sector of the economy. The challenges he revealed include limited citizen participation in the industry, inadequate product range and diversity, limited brand equity, limited air access, inadequate marketing and tourism economic leakages among others.

He noted that in order to deal with these challenges the ministry has recently revised the Tourism Policy which was passed by parliament in 2021. Modukanele explained the overall mission of the policy is to facilitate product diversification, promote domestic tourism, increased citizen and local community participation in the development of the sector.

He revealed that as part of operationalising the policy, they have completed the National Tourism Strategy and Master Plan of 2022 which provides a detailed road map for the sustainable development of tourism in Botswana over the last 10 years.

“My ministry through BTO is currently facilitating three communities trust in the Maun Administration Authority (MAA) that have been provided with concessions for tourism development and operation to seek for investors who will develop and operate facilities and activities in these concessions,” said Modukanele.


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