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Botswana Tourism Organisation’s Development Manager – Maun, Thatayaone Mmapatsi has said it is crucial that the wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that pensioners possess are recognised and put to good use, and tourism was one area that can be used.
Mmapatsi was addressing pensioners at the Botswana Civil Service Pensioners Association (BCSPA)’s 24th Annual General Meeting that was held in Maun on Wednesday.
During his address, Mmapatsi noted that retirement should not be seen as an endpoint but rather as a new chapter brimming with possibilities for personal growth, financial independence and community contribution.
“The tourism industry is a vast and dynamic sector with a multitude of opportunities waiting to be explored. From cultural exchanges to eco-tourism, the tourism industry is evolving, and it welcomes the passion and expertise that our seasoned community can offer. Imagine sharing your knowledge of history, art, or local culture with eager travelers from around the world,” Mmapatsi added.
Mmapatsi highlighted that some of the ways pensioners can contribute to the tourism industry include being tour guides and storytellers, hosting cultural workshop and classes, offering assistance and information to tourist as local ambassadors as well as establishing mentorship programs, starting travel writing for local publications and many more.
Mmapatsi further advised them not to rule out volunteering because in the tourism sector can be immensely gratifying. He said that working with organizations that promote sustainable tourism, conservation efforts, or cultural preservation allows one to contribute to meaningful causes while enjoying the perks of being part of the vibrant tourism community.
BCSPA was established in 1998, as a non-profit Organization with its main objectives being to advocate for the interests and welfare of pensioners with stakeholders and to provide a forum for collective action as well as creating a platform that enables pensioners to continue to influence the development of Botswana even after retirement.
The association that has members whose ages range from 45years old to over 100 with the slogan ‘Retired not tired’ held their Annual General Meeting under the theme ‘A spectrum of opportunities: empowering retired persons to explore a mindset change in the application of tourism.
In an interview with the BCSPA General Secretary Tsumake Tsumake added that as a pensioner, one should not focus only on working at the farms and taking care of grandchildren but also have fun by traveling the world and exploring the beauty of the country.
He further said that pensioners also have potential in the business world and they should therefore try to venture into the tourism sector while also making business out of them. He added that they could participate in the tourism industry by leveraging their experience and skills.