By Carlistus Bosaletswe
The neighboring South Africa has taken advantage of the locals who are at this time desperate to take affordable holidays than the local tourism which is perceived to be expensive.
The local market been accused by many as being unable to provide affordable packages for local holiday makers.
The Kwazulu Natal (KZN) Tourism has already made inroads in the local market taking advantage of locals who are unable to visit tourism hot spot areas such as Chobe and the Okavango Delta.
Every province in South Africa is itching to get a slice of desperate holiday makers. Botswana’s high value, low impact tourism largely attracts Europeans, Asians and American tourists than Batswana who find it too expensive.
KZN Tourism was again in our backyard to woo tourists as the country now looks at the larger African market to increase their tourism arrivals.
Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama has spoken in support of Batswana who vented their anger during the festive season last year that Batswana are unable to access hot spot tourism areas as result of high prices. Tshekedi had promised a solution where now locals will be able to visit the delta and other tourism hot spot areas.
University of Botswana, Okavango Research Centre, Director, Professor Joseph Mbaiwa dismissed Tshekedi’s promise that some concession areas will be allocated to locals in hot spot tourism areas. Tshekedi had said there was a need to allocate land to locals who can provide holiday packages that locals can afford.
Mbaiwa was of the view that Khama’s promise to subdivide concession areas will never take off since the delta was only reserved for white foreign owned companies who offer luxurious tourism packages. It is almost a year since the Minister promised to allocate concession areas to locals.
In the meantime local tourists have no choice but to choose neighboring countries with the desperation among holiday makers attracting the likes of KZN Tourism.
Speaking recently KZN Tourism Regional Manager Mpume Sibiya said by the time they came to market their product in Gaborone recently they had already made an agreement with Air Namibia which flies from Gaborone to King Shaka International Airport in Kwazulu Natal .Sibiya said this would assist those travelling to KZN during the festive season. Their aim, she said, is to attract more Batswana to experience KZN which offers affordable tourism packages. Sibiya was of the view that Batswana who are considered to be among frequent holiday makers in KZN province will have an opportunity to sample different tourism packages such as Safari and wildlife adventure, rich cultural experience, and other historic sites. The recent campaign, she said, was aimed at attracting tourists from SADC countries.
Batswana frequently visit KZN for shopping sprees, Durban July, beaches, nightlife, and other tourism activities.