Change the world

Journal for Development and Leadership

Volume 2, Number 1


 

Tourism managers and host communities’ perception on tourism development – the case of Kasane
Ketshabile, L.S.

Purpose
– Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of Botswana. It creates employment, earns foreign exchange, markets Botswana internationally, attracts foreign investments in the country and contributes to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the potential of tourism in contributing to individuals’ lives, particularly poor people living in areas where tourism activities are taking place, is not being realised. Therefore, this paper is aimed at assessing the potential of tourism in respect of its contribution to the economy of Botswana and to the lives of host communities, especially as far as entrepreneurial opportunities are concerned.

Approach
– The approach used in this paper includes an analysis of the actual contribution of tourism to the economy of Botswana for the purpose of comparing it with its potential contribution, based on literature review and an empirical study using survey questionnaires.

Findings
– The paper concludes that tourism has the potential to improve the lives of poor people living in Botswana. However, it is imperative that support for sustainable tourism development is lobbied in order to maximise the benefits of tourism to host communities.

Practical implications
– A realisation of the vital role that tourism plays in the economy of Botswana will encourage tourism policy makers to promote sustainable tourism development, thereby paving the way for tourism entrepreneurship to take root and maximising sustainable tourism benefits to the country and its communities. This implies engaging communities in policy making and assisting them in developing tourism businesses in a sustainable manner.

Originality/value
– The paper critiques Botswana’s sustainable tourism development policy with a view to encouraging tourism role players, including tourism entrepreneurs, to work closely with the communities in developing tourism for the benefits of the economy of Botswana and its communities in general.

Keywords: tourism, entrepreneurship, poverty, community participation, perception