How Much Are Batswana Gaining From The Country's Booming Tourism Sector?

Last week, Batswana showed great patriotic valor whilst coming to the defense of the integrity of the country which was being put into question by nescient hypocrites masquerading as conservation lobbyists who were of the opinion that the lifting of the country's hunting ban was barbaric and unwarranted for.

As i already mentioned,some of them even threatened to boycott the country's tourism industry,citing that they cannot give billions of dollars to people who want to butcher elephants. That threat got me thinking,yes we are up in arms in defense of our country and its tourism sector,but how much are we gaining from that tourism industry though?

According to statistics,Botswana's tourism industry grew by 3.4% in the last year which equates to a revenue of about $2.7 billion,almost P30 billion. Applaudable as that is,there is a catch. Almost all this revenue was made through companies which are not owned by locals,meaning only about 50% of those billions went to the country whilst the rest was enjoyed by those owning the lodges and camps in the country's prestigious tourism destinations.

The natives are relegated to mere servants in most of these establishments,earning next to nothing whilst foreigners are reaping the benefits of the beauty of their own motherland,the same thing happening in the country's diamond industry. This is an issue of grave importance and should take precedence in the "to amend" list of the country's legislators.

It is time the country acted on allocating concessions in the esteemed tourism spots to natives who will not only have the chance to reap the rewards of their country's beauty,but to also improve and grow the country's economy. What is the point of having a booming tourism sector if the citizens do not directly contribute from it?

To make matters worse,it has come to light that because payments by tourists are made to the banks of owners of these establishments which are normally in foreign countries,leakages occur as the country is unable to get tax revenue from this revenue. A tragedy.

40% of Botswana's landscape is viable for tourism,so it is appalling that citizen participation in the sector is still so low. As aforementioned,it is time legislators took measures to remedy this malady. Batswana cannot and will not continue coming to the defense of an industry whose prosperity they can only read about in the papers and none trickles down to them.