Ministry aware of branding - Parliament

22 Nov 2023

Raising the tourism profile of Gaborone city will be achieved through initiatives which are included in the implementation of the recently developed National Tourism Strategy and Master Plan for 2022 – 2032.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Ms Philda Kereng, told Parliament that the plan provides short term recovery initiatives and medium-term road map for the sustainable development of tourism in Botswana over the next 10 years.

Ms Kereng said as part of the plan the greater Gaborone area has been designated as one of the tourism development areas, noting that one of the initiatives in the plan is to uplift Gaborone as a tourist attraction area and the old mall has been identified as a potential urban regeneration project that can offer a distinctive local shopping and cultural experience.

“The intention will be to take advantage of the historical and cultural elements of the old mall that can be coordinated to create a heritage tourism trail for visitors,” she said. She said the discovery trail which is under development, will integrate many of the heritage sites of the city as a way of marketing and positioning it as one of the global destinations. Ms Kereng said in uplifting the image of the city to meet the competitive destination standards, both the public and private stakeholders were working hand in hand with the ministry to develop the trail.

The Gaborone Game Reserve does not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens, she said emphatically pointing the total statistics of visitors in 2021 was 3 120, in 2022 was 3 540 and in 2023 as from January to August is 2 992.

Over and above, she said, most of the tourists were citizens who undertake picnicking and self-drives mainly over weekends and public holidays. 

She said her ministry was aware that Gaborone has immense tourism potential and the ministry was committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to explore all possible opportunities during NDP 12. The ministry is fully aware of the fact that capital cities around the world brand themselves in ways that make them tourist attraction destinations. 

Major cities around the world have defining landmarks and events as part of the global community, she said.

Ms Kereng’s response follows a question from Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Mr Mpho Balopi, who had wanted to know if consideration has been made to deliberately promote tourism in Gaborone, citing sites of historical significance such as old prison in Village, houses that were bombed during apartheid South Africa’s raid in Gaborone in 1980s, among other things. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 22 Nov 2023