Botswana’s tourism sector, remains a very significant economic contributor with at least 25 000 people employed by the sector by the year 2017, the World Travel and Tourism Council revealed, in their 2017 Travel & Tourism Economic Impact study of Botswana.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the foremost forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry, enabling them to speak with one voice to governments and international bodies. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, supporting 313 million jobs and generating 10.4 percent of world GDP.
According to the council, travel & tourism generated 25,000 jobs directly in 2016 an equivalent of 2.6 percent of total employment) and this is forecast to grow by 6.8 percent in 2017 to 27,000, approximately 2.7 percent of total employment in Botswana.
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 council further said that by 2027, Travel & Tourism will account for 43,000 jobs directly in Botswana, an increase of 4.8 percent per year over the next ten years. Total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was 68,500 jobs in 2016 (7.1 percent of total employment). This is forecast to rise by 3.7 percent in 2017 to 71,000 jobs, 7.3 percent of total employment in the country. By 2027, Travel & Tourism is forecast to support 100,000 jobs, equivalent to8.9 percent of total employment, and an increase of 3.5 percent annually over the period.
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was P17. 7 billion in 2016 (10.9 percent of GDP) and is expected to grow by 6.5 percent to P18.9 billion an equivalent of 11.2 percent of GDP in 2017. Moreover, WTTC expects the contribution to rise by 5.5 percent annually to P32.2 billion by 2027, then 12.2 percent of the domestic output.
WTTC said that visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism.
The council describes visitor exports as spending within the country by international tourists for both business and leisure trips, including spending on transport, but excluding international spending on education. In 2016, Botswana generated P6.2 billion in visitor exports. In 2017, this is expected to grow by 11.6 percent, and the country is expected to attract 1,797,000 international tourist arrivals. By 2027, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 2,731,000, generating expenditure of P11.1 billion, an increase of 4.9 yearly.
Travel & Tourism is expected to have attracted capital investment of P3.7 billion in 2016. This is expected to rise by 0.8 percent in 2017, and rise by 5.0 percent annually over the next ten years to P6 billion in 2027. The council said Travel & Tourism’s share of total national investment will rise from 8.3 percent in 2017 to 8.6 percent in 2027. Capital Investments includes capital investment spending by all industries directly involved in Travel & Tourism. This also constitutes investment spending by other industries on specific tourism assets such as new visitor accommodation and passenger transport equipment, as well as restaurants and leisure facilities for specific tourism use.
WTTC also showed that Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 72.8 percent of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2016 (P9.2 billion) compared with 27.2 percent for business travel spending (P3.4 billion). However, business travel spending is expected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2017 to P3.6 billion, and rise by 4.8 percent annually P5.8 billion in 2027. On the other hand, leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 7.9 percent in 2017 to P10 billion and rise by 4.7 percent pa to P15.8 billion in 2027.
Further, domestic travel spending generated 51.2 percent of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2016 compared with 48.8 percent for visitor exports (ie foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts). Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2017 to P6.7 billion, and rise by 4.6 percent annually to P10.5 billion in 2027. Visitor exports are expected to grow by 11.6 percent in 2017 to P6.9 billion, and rise by 4.9 percent annually P11.1 billion in 2027.
By January 2018, citizen participation in the tourism sector saw total licensed tourism operations at 1 678, with 1 177 being citizen owned, 256 joint ventures and 254, non-citizen owned.