Botswana: Kereng calls on community to diversify tourism
Tsodilo – The community of Tsodilo has been invited to explore other tourism opportunities to diversify the products of the Tsodilo World Heritage site.
The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Ms Philda Kereng, said this during a recent visit to appreciate the World Heritage site.
The government has sought to diversify tourism products by developing new attractions to attract visitors to other parts of the country by promoting cultural tourism, among the packages, she added.
The Tsodilo region, she said, had a lot to offer in terms of tourism and called on the community to think outside the box and enhance the beauty of its resource, adding that it could diversify through events. such as cultural and sports tourism.
The Minister appreciated that tourism in their region is based on nature and has a rich history that can attract tourists.
The rocks of Tsodilo had provided the ancient inhabitants of Tsodilo with various resources, ranging from iron ore, stone tools and water.
Ms Kereng said the community could explore other opportunities such as setting up cultural, arts and crafts stalls, selling traditional food and indigenous knowledge while telling stories around a bonfire. during visits.
She stressed that bringing more products would improve the seasonality of the destination and increase the length of stay, while helping to reduce poverty.
âWe don’t want visitors to just appreciate the beauty of the hills, but we want them to spend a few nights in the area and enjoy other activities,â she added.
She noted that the government was making efforts to revive the tourism industry, which had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, hence its mission to identify national tourist sites such as Tsodilo to see how they could at better extend the diversification of tourism.
In addition, she said that Parliament had adopted a tourism policy which aimed to improve Botswana’s position as a premier tourist destination and strengthen the sector as a major economic activity.
The policy, she said, was aimed at improving the development of national tourism products, enabling Botswana to be able to promote and market her country.
Ms. Kereng noted that through policy, the government wanted to boost employment opportunities and improve the quality of life. She also pointed out that the government intends to revive and strengthen community trusts so that they can increase tourism products.
She acknowledged that the Tsodilo Trust has been on the right track since introducing the Tsodilo Hills Heritage Challenge, which has attracted participants interested in fitness both locally and internationally.
For his part, Kgosi Mutemo Mbambo from Shakawe stressed the need to expand tourism staples in the region to strengthen economic activities and transform the image of the village.
He called on the government to consider introducing some wildlife to add value to what the region offers and make it more attractive.
He also urged the government to consider upgrading the Tsodilo road, noting that its status left a lot to be desired.
The road, he said, could also help unleash the economic potential of the entire region.
âWe cannot talk about tourism when we don’t have good road infrastructure and other basic needs such as electricity,â said Kgosi Mambo.