fodorsFrom : Mmegi.bw

By : MBONGENI MGUNI

Fodor’s, a US firm with roots dating back to 1936, is the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information and enjoys an influential role in tourists’ decisions on their destinations.

Fodor’s placed Botswana within its recently released “25 Places To Go In 2013,” an authoritative guide compiled by tapping into the firm’s worldwide network of 700 permanently based travel writers. Other destinations in the top 25 include Amsterdam, Easter Island, Maldives, Ireland, New Orleans, New Zealand and Seville.

In explaining Botswana as a prime destination for 2013, Fodor’s said the country’s tourist attractions in the west were unparalleled. “You’ll get unforgettable sightings of The Big 5 with backgrounds ranging from the lush Okavango Delta to the dramatic Kalahari Desert – but without the Great Migration of tourists,” Fodor’s said in a brief on Botswana.

“‘Undiscovered’ doesn’t mean you have to settle for sub-par accommodations (as) recent additions to the luxury scene guarantee a stunning stay.'”A Fodor’s travel writer added: “I now firmly believe Botswana, or at least the delta, in the Green Season is the best kept secret and the way to go. More than anything, the lush landscape greatly added to the overall safari ambiance and I would not trade in the gently swaying tall grasses in the balmy breeze for better game viewing in short grass with dust and cold in the winter season. The downsides of more difficult game viewing conditions and rain are an acceptable trade.”

Tourism is among the top contributors to Botswana’s economy, with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimating that its various activities directly contributed P3.25 billion last year. According to the WTTC, the travel and tourism industry in Botswana directly accounted for 18,500 jobs in 2011, with these forecast to grow by 9.8 percent in 2012 to 20,500.