botswanaResearchers expect travel and tourism activities to directly contribute P5.16 billion to the local economy this year, rising 6.6 percent from their input last year.

The researchers from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) say the forecast for 2013 is underpinned by expected activity in a number of travel and tourism sub-sectors. “This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services, excluding commuter services,” researchers at the London-headquartered organisation said in a recent report on Botswana.

“However it also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists,” they said. The WTTC’s own projections show that Botswana’s travel and tourism activities exceeded expectation in 2012, from a forecast P3.5 billion contribution to GDP to P4.8 billion. The WTTC is the foremost research and statistics authority on tourism, conducting annual economic assessments on 184 countries. Its annual Economic Impact Reports analyse current and historic performance of travel and tourism sectors in the selected countries, while providing projections for various indicators over a 10-year horizon.

For Botswana, the reports are critical, as local statistics bodies do not compute direct or indirect travel and tourism earnings, employment and/or economic impact in their research. The 2013 forecast, an inflation-adjusted figure which equates to three percent of forecast GDP, is based on the WTTC’s estimates of spending by visitors, locals, government, business as well as capital investment in travel and tourism.

The council derives direct contribution to GDP from total travel and tourism spending in Botswana less the purchases made by those industries, including imports. Visitor exports or the spending within the country by international tourists for both business and leisure trips, are expected to rise to 6.9 percent to P7.8 billion powered by the forecast 2.5 million international tourist arrivals. Last year, the WTTC expected tourism arrivals to reach 2.37 million.The council’s researchers forecast that 32,500 people would be directly employed in Botswana’s travel and tourism sector, being 3.7 percent up from the 2012 estimate.

“This includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services, excluding commuter services,” the council’s researchers said.”It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.”Looking further afield, the WTTC projects that in the next 10 years, Botswana’s travel and tourism sector will grow five percent annually and contribute P8.4 billion by 2023. In the same year, the council expects the sector to account for 42,000 jobs directly, while tourist arrivals will reach 3.7 million at the end of the forecast period.

Analysts expect government’s massive infrastructure investment programme to support the sector’s stronger performance in 2013 and years ahead. The programme has seen billions of Pula pumped into expanding and modernising the country’s airports, roads, sewerage, telecommunications, ICT, electrical grid and water supply network.                <!–

 
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From: www.mmegi.bw

By: MBONGENI MGUNI