The Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said the plan to take World Tourism Day to the mining town of Selebi-Phikwe is meant to sensitise people of the central district about the importance of the industry.
An official at the ministry told reporters over the weekend that Phikwe has little known paintings and ruins that could attract tourists to the area.
“The 2007 CSA study identified tourism as a way of diversifying the economy of Phikwe,” said Mogomotsi Baletetse, District Tourism Officer, responsible for the Central District.
“That is why we decided on Phikwe (to host World Tourism Day) to sensitise the people of the area, which has potential tourism sites,” he added.
The Selebi-Phikwe area faces a possible deterioration as the mine life is expected to come to an end, which is made worse by several failing attempts to diversify the economy of the area away from BCL.
Government has initiated such agencies, like SPEDU, to help come up with ways to prepare for the worst economic disaster as the lives of many people around here is dependant on the mines.
“Not so many people know that there are paintings and ruins around the Phikwe area,” added Baletetse.
The World Tourism Day begins on Saturday 24 with a cultural night, which is meant to sensitise people on the importance of culture in tourism.
The organisers expect to have cultural presentations from the different nationalities in the Selebi Phikwe who include Nigerian and Bangladesh national amongst others.
“We want to sensitise people in Phikwe that this is what we can offer.”
Then on the 26th, invited guests will tour BCL shafts that are no longer in use.
“These shafts can be used for tourism,” added Baletetse.
The guests will also be taken on tour of Letsibogo Dam. The dam built in the late 1990s has been identified as having potential to help the Phikwe area diversify its economy.
Already, the ministry has had consultation with Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), which runs the Botswana dams to have policies skewed at supporting the tourism industry.
“We are saying to WUC to have policies that are geared towards tourism. We have talked to the corporation to allow us to undertake activities that can be done without polluting Letsibogo,” he said.
The VIPs will also have time to visit the fish hatchery in the area.
The tourism day will be celebrated at the Arnes Park in Selebi Phikwe.
Exhibitors are expected to come from the Central District.