Tourism jobs grow-report
In 2016 travel and tourism directly supported 25,000 jobs in Botswana which accounts for 2.6% of total employment in the country. This is expected to rise by 6.8% in 2017 and 4.8% per annum to 43,000 jobs (3.8% of total employment) by 2027. This is according to latest figures from World Travel and Tourism Council.
Commentators are optimistic the sector will continue to grow in the future. In a response to questions, an economist at Barclays Bank Botswana, Naledi Madala said the sector is also banking on the fact that the country has found a niche and will continue to grow its reputation as a luxury safari destination. “Botswana also outperforms its peers in the region with its reputation of peace and stability, which is an important factor that tourists consider before going to a place,” said Madala. The country competes pound for pound for the same clients with countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. The robust growth has also been notable in listed tourism companies like Wilderness Safari and Chobe Holdings Limited who have posted improving profits year on year, against other sectors such as banking, retail and property.
Except for a decline in profit after tax in 2016 and 2017, Wilderness profits have been steadily increasing since 2014. In 2014, the Africa-focused group made a profit of P48 million which moved to P76 million the following year. As of year-ended February, the company which is headed by Keith Vincent, posted a Profit after Tax (PAT) of P87 million, almost double in a space five years.
Chobe Holdings Limited has also seen positive growth since February 2014. From P33 million in 2014, the group’s profits have risen to P 71 million as off February, 2018. Madala said the sector will continue to be buoyant in the medium to long term, “because the government is showing commitment and support for the sector through infrastructure development.” She added that, there has been increased investment in transport infrastructure and services which will have even more of an impact on the sector in the future.
Government has invested substantially on the upgrade of Maun International Airport as well as opening a new terminal at Kasane airport. “Government’s marketing efforts in the sector are also expected to continue to pay off, like the ITB Berlin promotional campaign which exposed the country across 5 continents,” noted Madala. BSE