Tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the latest data compiled by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows.
Tourism in Botswana, a country that has one of the world’s unique ecosystems, the HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okavango_Delta” \o “Okavango Delta” Okavango Delta is projected to make a total contribution to GDP of up to 4.9 percent in 2018. The projections also show a 4.5 percent rise per annum to P34, 874.2 million and further to 11.7 percent of GDP in 2028.
The total contribution to GDP currently sits at 11.5 percent for the year 2017 to the value of P21 496.5million.
Visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism. In 2017, Botswana generated P7,119.6 million in visitor exports.
The report data shows that, “domestic travel spending generated 50.3 percent of direct travel and tourism GDP in 2017 compared with 49.7 percent for visitor exports which is foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts. Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 5.9 percent in 2018 to P7, 623.3 million, and rise by 4.3 percent pa to P11, 646.5 million in 2028. Visitor exports are expected to grow by 5.7 percent in 2018 to P7, 524.9 million, and rise by 4.6 percent pa to P11, 791.1 million in 2028.”
The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP has therefore shown that, it is three times greater than its direct contribution.
Inclusive growth and ensuring a future with quality jobs are the concerns of governments everywhere. Travel and Tourism, which already supports one in every ten jobs on the planet, has proven to be a dynamic engine of employment opportunity.
The sector locally has generated 26,000 jobs directly in 2017, which constitutes to 2.6 percent of total employment and this is forecast to grow by 4.3 percent in 2018 to 27,000; 2.7 percent of total employment). This includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services, excluding commuter services. It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.
The long term projections for 2028, have shown that it will account for 42,000 jobs directly, an increase of 4.5 percent pa over the next ten years.
The total contribution of the tourism sector to employment, including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was 76,000 jobs in 2017. This is also forecast to rise by 3.6 percent in 2018 to 78,500 jobs.
By 2028, travel and tourism is forecast to support 102,000 jobs of the total employment, an increase of 2.6 percent pa over the period.
WTTC President, also Chief Executive Officer, Gloria Guevara Manzo said 2017 was one of the strongest years of GDP growth in a decade with robust consumer spending worldwide.
“This global growth transferred again into travel and tourism with the sector’s direct growth of 4.6 percent outpacing the global economy for the seventh successive year. As in recent years, performance was particularly strong across Asia, but proving the sector’s resilience, 2017 also saw countries such as Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt that had previously been devastated by the impacts of terrorist activity, recover strongly,” she said.
Over the longer term, forecast growth of the travel & tourism sector will continue to be robust as millions more people are moved to travel to see the wonders of the world, according to Manzo’s observation.