Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism
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Industry participants in Botswana and abroad extol the country’s unique natural resources that provide it with a significant advantage in the tourism sector.  Tourism is a major contributor to the national economy and has tremendous potential for growth.  Most business analysts estimate this difficult-to-quantify sector accounts for less than 10 percent of GDP.  The GoB is committed to growing the sector as part of its economic diversification strategy and has lined several tourism projects to be funded under the current financial budget.  This includes exploring value chain opportunities in the tourism sector and the Kasane-Kazungula re-development project.  Botswana seeks to broaden its tourism base by adding more products and increasing the geographic spread of tourism.  While to-date Botswana tourism has focused almost exclusively on high-end consumers, the GoB is interested in expanding into the mid-range market in an effort to increase revenue and jobs for Batswana.  Providing consistent quality service remains the main challenge.  

While there are few high-quality hotel and conference facilities in Gaborone, Botswana has sought to position itself as a conference destination. The GoB and Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa co-hosted the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in July 2023.  Botswana hosted the 73rd session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa in August-September 2023.  Gaborone’s hotel room capacity is still insufficient even with the emergence of new hotel service providers, creating an opportunity for investment.  In 2019, the U.S.-based chain Hilton entered the Botswana hotel market with a branch of its Hilton Garden Inn brand in Gaborone.  In 2020, the U.S.-based Marriott International – the largest hotel chain in the world – entered the Botswana market through an existing property now operating under Marriott’s Protea brand.

The Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), a quasi-governmental entity, is responsible for all operational functions of the tourism sector such as marketing, investment promotion, and the grading of tourism facilities to international standards.  The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) is a non-profit organization that serves as the governing body of hospitality and tourism industries. This wholly member funded organization exists to promote, encourage, and police excellence in hospitality and tourism in Botswana.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects  

Eco-tourism, midrange tourism excursions, hotels, lodges, resorts, direct flights, and restaurants are the best sub-sector prospects.


There are opportunities for joint ventures for hotel expansions and start-ups along the Trans-Kalahari Highway, joining Botswana and Namibia, and development of lodges in the Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, and forest reserves surrounding Chobe National Park.  A memorandum of understanding to establish a trans-frontier conservation area, commonly referred to as the Limpopo-Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), was signed in June 2006.  This is a unique partnership between the governments of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, the private sector, and the local communities to create new opportunities for eco-tourism.  The TFCA was renamed the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA on June 19, 2009. The Greater Mapungubwe is similar in concept to the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA that seeks to connect Protected Areas in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola.  Member countries are working to simplify travel between protected areas in the five-country region through the implementation of the KAZA UniVisa for Botswana and the region.  


Botswana Ministry of Environment and Tourism

Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB)

The Tourist (Botswana Tourism Magazine)

Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO)

Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry