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    Friday, November 24, 2023

    Botswana: Tsogwane Calls for Accelerated Investment in Tourism

    Marvin Motlhabane

    Vice President Mr Slumber Tsogwane has called for accelerated investment in the tourism sector, that will boost economic growth, job creation, and foreign exchange revenue generation.

    Speaking at the inaugural Botswana Tourism Investment Summit in Gaborone on November 23, Mr Tsogwane said government encouraged new investments and joint ventures in the tourism industry as part of its economic diversification drive.

    According to Mr Tsogwane, the tourism sector generated over P6.9 billion (US$ 515 million) in revenue last year, accounting for 26 per cent of the country's total exports.

    "Recognising the untapped potential of the industry, there is need for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to enhance the nation's vibrant tourism sector, hence the Tourism Investment Summit.

    He said the revised Botswana Tourism Policy of 2021 acknowledged that while the country possesses rare and pristine natural resources, the tourism industry was yet to fully capitalise on its potential.

    Mr Tsogwane outlined several opportunities identified in the policy, including the expansion of product range and diversity, as well as the development of necessary infrastructure.

    To unlock the industry's potential and ensure sustainable tourism development, the Vice President stressed the importance of product diversification.

    He said a well-diversified, integrated, and intensified tourism product would not only enrich the visitor experience but also stimulate infrastructure development. This, he said would in turn, lead to job creation, attract new businesses and investors, and significantly contribute to the country's economic growth.

    Mr Tsogwane underscored the need for transforming the tourism sector into a more responsible and sustainable industry.

    To realise this transformation, he said there was need for much stronger public-private partnerships, through more and better-targeted investment financing, to rebuild the industry in a sustainable and inclusive manner.

    Further, the Vice President said government had established systems to facilitate a conducive investment environment and support foreign investors. These systems,

    he said, provided access to well-researched information on investment opportunities, certification, tax relief, training grants, and investment incentives for both foreign and domestic investors.

    Meanwhile Dr Taleb Rifai, Chairperson of the International Tourism Investment Corporation (ITIC), expressed optimism that the Botswana Tourism Investment Summit would broaden the investment horizons of attendees.

    Dr Rafai also said the summit aimed to position Botswana as a land of untapped tourism potential, attract foreign investment, and facilitate one-to-one interactions between project developers and international investors.

    The two-day summit, held under the theme: "Accelerating Investments Towards Sustainable Product Diversification," brought together a wide range of participants from the business sector, including ITIC representatives, the Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), ministry officials, and delegates from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).


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