Tourism has been referred to as the oil that never runs out. While other economic sectors generate short and medium-term gains, tourism, when sustainably planned and managed, has proven to stimulate economic growth.
As such, Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture in a bid to diversify tourism.
“We now endeavour to diversify tourism into areas which are new and have tourism potential like event, sports and culture, said Myra Sekgororoane the chief executive officer at Botswana Tourism Organisation.
Sekgororoane said every visitor to the country says Botswana’s natural resource is beautiful. “However, we should develop new products so that repeat visitors can sample other magnetisms as opposed to experiencing the same items every time they visit,” she said. Botswana tourism has been heavily reliant on wildlife and wilderness.
She said it is important to develop tourism into other forms of tourism taking advantage of the current hype and ecotourism.
Sekgororoane said that the growing competitive nature of tourism, the continuously evolving taste preferences of consumers and the country’s promoted products have been enriched to include sports, arts and culture.
“We want to harness available opportunities to ensure such developments have economic benefits to the country,” she said.
“We will make an effort to change the spectrum of these sectors to ensure that Batswana understand their contribution to the economy,” said Ruth Maphorisa the Permanent Secretary at MYSC.
Maphorisa said her ministry has recognized BTO as a strategic partner in development of and promotion of cultural and sports tourism. The MOU is expected to pave way for greater engagement between the two. The MOU is expected to standardize the delivery of services to individual organizations and companies assisted by both parties in order to assist these organizations to get one stop service centre.
In addition, the organizations will work jointly to lobby and advocate for legislative policy reforms affecting the development of cultural and sports tourism.