Tourism is defined as the activities of persons identified as visitors. A visitor is someone who is making a visit to the main destination outside his/her usual environment for less than a year for any main purpose [including] holidays, leisure and recreation, business, health, education or other purposes….This scope is much wider than the traditional perception of tourists, which included only those traveling for leisure. [UNWTO statistics Guidelines: 2010]
The following are positive impacts of tourism to Botswana:
- The tourism industry diversifies the economy of a country, for example, the Botswana tourism industry is quickly growing. This means that the government of Botswana will gain money from the tourism industry instead of relying mainly on minerals and beef exports.
- Tourism provides employment as many people are employed in tourism-related industries like safari companies, hotels and lodges, airlines, handicrafts, etc
- It promotes the development of remote areas by encouraging the provision of services such as roads, airports, hotels, etc. The Maun-Nata road was developed as a way of promoting tourism. Both the Kasane and Maun airports were developed to promote tourism.
- It is a source of foreign exchange. In 1989 tourism brought P107.9 million in foreign exchange. The latest estimation shows that the tourism industry contributes about P 271.8 million per annum to the Gross Domestic Product.
- Tourism promotes local arts and craft industries and this includes:
- It introduces new ideas and cultures and promotes international understanding. Botswana receives many visitors from South Africa, Europe, etc and these tourists come with new ideas and culture. They also learn and understand Botswana’s culture.
- Tourism encourages the conservation of natural resources such as wildlife. There are many national parks and game reserves in Botswana which are used to conserve wildlife.