Hospitality & Tourism Profile







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Creating Centres of Excellence

Hospitality & Tourism Profile


Hospitality & Tourism Profile


AHTSA Association of Hospitality and Tourism Schools in Africa

AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

BEDIA Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority

BNPC Botswana National Productivity Centre

BOTA Botswana Training Authority

BTO Botswana Tourism Organisation

CHE Council for Higher Education

CKGR Central Kalahari Game Reserve

GDP Gross Domestic Product

ICT Information Communication Technology

NBFIRA Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority

NDP National Development Plan

SADC Southern African Development Community

TEC Tertiary Education Council

THETA Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Authority

VAT Value Added Tax

WHO World Health Organisation


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Hospitality & Tourism Profile


125k 100k 75k 50k 25k 0 25k 50k 75k 100k 125k Age unknown 95+ 90-94 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 15-19 10-14 5-9 4 COUNT CASE WEIGHT BY WEIGHT 2

AGE GR OUP SEX Age unknown 95+ 90-94 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 15-19 10-14 5-9 4 AGE GR OUP MALE FEMALE Population Projection (1000)

Year Male Female Total

2006 837 882 1 719

2007 847 888 1 735

2008 859 896 1 755

2009 871 904 1 755

2010 885 914 1 799

Source: Central Statistics Office Botswana Demographic Survey 2006



Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa bordered by South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, achieved independence in 1966. At that time Botswana was considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Shortly after, the government was able to maintain a balanced budget with-out donor assistance. Within the last forty years Botswana has established itself as a model of development in Africa, with middle income status and an average annual growth rate of 9%.

Botswana’s total area of 581 730 sq km is comparable in size to France and slightly smaller than the state of Texas. It is a semi-arid country, with a sub-tropical climate due to the

rela-tively high altitude. The average temperature is 21.2 °C (70 °F) with an average range of 10.5 °C.

Botswana is a multi-party democratic republic recognised for its democracy, political stability, good governance and economic management. Elections are held every five years on the basis of universal adult suffrage and the president is elected by the National Assembly for a concurrent term of office. Opposition parties operate freely and are represented in the National Assembly.

Consistent with its reputation for democratic and constitutional governance, Botswana has maintained a sound hu-man rights record. Freedom of opinion is guaranteed, with a culture of open consultation that is characterised by lively discussions.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and it provides strong protection of property rights. Botswana’s population has increased over the years largely as a result of improved health. The 2010 population projec-tion is 1 799 000.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2009, based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), was estimated to be $26 520 mil-lion. With a per capita income of $13 992, Botswana’s global ranking by the International Monetary Fund is 58th. The mining sector contributes 26.0% to the GDP, followed by banks, insurance and business services at 12.4%, hotels and restaurants 4.9%, and agriculture 3.0%.


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Hospitality & Tourism Profile

South A fr ica Egypt M or oc co Tunisia Niger ia Ken ya Botsw ana Namibia M adagascar Sudan M ozambique Lib ya Sey chelles Sier ra L eone Lesotho Liber ia Somalia INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS 1 000 000 100 000 10 000 1 000 100 10 1


Visa Requirements

Entry visas are not required for citizens of the countries of the European Union, the United States of America and the Southern African Customs Union member states, of most Commonwealth countries and some of the Southern Af-rican Development Community. Citizens of other nations must obtain a visa prior to arrival from Botswana Embas-sies and High Commissions.

Personal Taxation

Botswana’s tax rates remain among the lowest in southern Africa. Both the top income tax rate and the top corporate tax rate are 25 per cent. Income tax is levied on personal income and gains for each tax year. It is source-based, lev-ied on income generated or deemed to be generated in Botswana, and it is administered under the Income Tax Act.

Quality of Life

In 2010 Botswana is currently ranked 2nd after Mauritius within Sub-Saharan Africa, and 93rd globally, according to the Human Development Index. Botswana’s score is 0.655 while Mauritius is 0.748. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy rate, education and standards of living for countries worldwide.

Over the five-year period between 2005 and 2009 the av-erage inflation rate was 9.34%. The Bank of Botswana’s objective is to maintain inflation within the 3-6 per cent range, although Botswana’s high dependence on imports of food and petroleum products contributes significantly to raising inflation beyond the national targets.

Crime Rate

Botswana has one of the lowest crime rates in the region. The government has enacted the necessary legislation to support the law enforcement agencies to fight local and trans-national organised crime.

Drinking water

Potable water across the country is treated to meet the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water.


The bulk of Botswana’s energy capacity is thermal, mainly coal fired. More than half of Botswana’s power require-ments are imported from South Africa and Zambia. How-ever, the establishment of a major coal fired power

sta-tion, taking advantage of vast coal reserves, will position Botswana as a net exporter of electricity by 2013, with an estimated total supply and demand of 1 070 and 790 MW, rising to 1 730 and 880 MW by 2016.

Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology

A range of communications products and services include wired and wireless networks, basic voice telephony and voice messaging, Internet Protocol-based networks and solutions, high speed internet access, data networks, cus-tomer premises equipment, fibre optic connectivity solu-tions and online directory services. The liberalisation of the telecommunications market in 2006 increased efficiency and led to the establishment of the three national mobile operators, Mascom Wireless Botswana, Orange Botswana and BeMobile. The service neutral licenses enabled the na-tional operators to offer a broad range of telecommunica-tions services under one license.

Internet Subscribers by Country

Source: The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force

The connection of Botswana to the undersea fibre optic cables on the east and west coasts of Africa will position Botswana for a more efficient high speed broadband in-ternet, data transmission and internet penetration, consis-tent with the objectives of the national Information Com-munication Technology policy.


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Family Health

In addition to an extensive network of close to 300 clinics, 400 health posts and 850 mobile posts, primary health care services in Botswana are integrated within overall hospital services provided to the population in the out-patient sections of primary, district and referral hospitals. There are public and private health care services, including Gaborone’s newly commissioned state-of-the-art Boka-moso Private Hospital, which has been designated the national referral centre.

Botswana has a national policy on HIV/AIDS prevention and care that outlines government’s response to the epi-demic.

Pre-Primary to Secondary Schooling

Botswana offers opportunities for enrolment in pre-prima-ry, primary through secondary schooling, leading to the country’s internationally recognised public and private ter-tiary institutions.


The game reserves of Botswana are popular destinations for animal viewing and photographic safaris. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), the world’s second largest protected area, Chobe National Park, Khutse and Moremi Game Reserves and the Kgalagadi Trans-Frontier Park are popular for their different species of animals, reptiles and birds. They contain a diversity of wildlife including lions, African elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinoceros. The Okavango Delta, the Kalahari Desert and the grass-lands and savannas are home to the blue wildebeest, many antelopes and other mammals and birds. Botswana still has a few of the endangered animal and bird species which are almost extinct in other African countries, such as rhinos, which are found in the Mokolodi Game Reserve near Gaborone and the Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Se-rowe village.

The Chobe National Park has the world’s largest concen-tration of African elephants while the Okavango Delta, with its exceptional natural beauty, is the world’s largest inland river mouth. It is formed where the Okavango River empties into a swamp in the Kalahari Desert, where most of the water is lost to evaporation. The Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt flat in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana, is one of the largest salt pans in the world.

Botswana is notably well endowed in wildlife resources and is experiencing a significant growth in tourist demand. The country ranked fifth in southern Africa in 2008, with 2.1 million tourist arrivals in comparison to South Africa which ranked second with 9.5 million tourist arrivals.

It is of interest that about 20% of Botswana has been set aside as National Parks and Game Reserves, all of which are surrounded by, where possible, areas designated as Wildlife Management Areas in which the interests of wild-life have preference. In fact more than 34% of the country is preserved for conservation of wildlife. None of these protected areas are fenced, allowing game complete free-dom of movement.


Corporate Registration

The Companies Act, which imposes strict obligations on corporate governance, requires that all entities must be classified as a private company, exempt private company, public company or a close company. The Companies Act provides for compulsory compliance for the accounting records of businesses to be maintained in Botswana, and for a qualified company secretary and auditor to be ap-pointed for non-exempt private and public companies, among others.

The process for company registration, from the initial res-ervation of a company name through to the issue of the registration certificate by the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property, has a turn-around time of ten work-ing days. The Botswana Export Development and Invest-ment Authority (BEDIA) plays a facilitative role in assisting potential investors to set up in Botswana through its One-Stop Service Centre.

Business Taxation

Botswana’s tax rates remain among the lowest in southern Africa. Both the top income tax rate and the top corporate tax rate are 25%. Company tax is levied at 15% and Ad-ditional company tax at 10%. Other taxes include value added tax (VAT) and inheritance tax. VAT is an indirect tax levied at 12% on the supply of goods and services consumed within Botswana. It is not a business expense because it is borne by the consumer.

Regulatory Environment

Botswana operates a best practice and international stan-dards-compliant legal and regulatory environment, has ac-ceded to international conventions, and strictly observes internationally accepted guidelines on combating money laundering and financial crimes.

The Bank of Botswana and the Non Bank Financial Insti-tutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), individually and in collaboration, ensure maintenance of a robust supervisory framework for financial stability. The NBFIRA is the regu-lator of Botswana registered and domiciled non-banking financial entities including pension funds, asset manage-ment, consumer/micro lending, insurance and collective


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investment undertakings. The Bank of Botswana regulates the banks and banking operations.

The regulatory authorities in the education sector are the Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and the Botswana Train-ing Authority (BOTA) with the mandate to, respectively, register tertiary institutions and monitor the performance of the vocational training system. For registration of a new institution, from the time of submitting an application through to a final decision being taken, the turn-around time is approximately 3 months. The two organisations will be merged to operate under one legislation by 2012.

Work and Residence Permits

Work and residence permits are required for the employ-ment of non-citizens. To make it easier to acquire skilled human resources, the Immigration and Citizenship Act and the Employment of Non-Citizens Act, which govern the requirements for permanent residence and citizenship, are continually reviewed.



The Ease of Business Start-up and Operation

Botswana has investor-friendly business reforms. BEDIA is an autonomous organization established in 1998 to promote investment in Botswana, with a special empha-sis on export-oriented manufacturing industries. Through its One Stop Service Centre, BEDIA provides services for investor needs and aftercare. The Centre focuses on en-abling investors to secure all clearances and approvals as quickly as possible under one roof.

Investment Climate and Competitive Investment Incentives

Botswana is a free market economy with liberal foreign exchange controls and a liberal private foreign investment incentive scheme that welcomes joint venture operations. There are no restrictions on reinvestments or repatriation of earnings and capital. The government has never na-tionalised or expropriated any foreign business. Instead, it is pursuing a privatisation strategy that seeks to balance the strengths and limitations of markets and government so as to achieve sustained economic growth.

The country’s credibility and credit-worthiness rating by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s is higher than any other sub-Saharan African country. It is considered the most transparent country on the African continent, according to Transparency International.

There is a well-developed legal system, based on Common Law, which facilitates business and commercial activities. There are no foreign exchange controls, and profit, divi-dends and capital can be readily repatriated.

Political Stability, Good Governance and Sound Macro-Economic Policies

Since independence, political stability and sound macro-economic policies have provided the foundation for the country’s successes. According to the 2006 Gallup poll, Botswana stands out among many other African nations with regard to the level of investor confidence toward the country’s social and political institutions.

Effective Business Infrastructure

The country has a reliable digital telecommunications in-frastructure that is spread throughout the country and facilitates efficient business operation. Business conduct is highly computer based and relies on the internet as a business tool, in both the public and private sectors. The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation and other companies offer a range of different technology and busi-ness services.

Botswana participates as a shareholder in the undersea fibre optic cables running on the east and west coast of Africa, which will link up to international telecommunica-tions networks. When this network infrastructure is op-erational, communication (internet and data transmission) will be efficient, fast, reliable and affordable.


The policy framework for the implementation of the edu-cation sector is based on the National Policy on Eduedu-cation, the Revised National Policy on Education, the new Tertiary Education Policy, the National Vocational Training Policy, the National Credit and Qualification Framework, the Mai-tlamo ICT Policy, Vision 2016, and the Science and Tech-nology Policy, together with other government policies. The key objectives of the education sector include the fol-lowing:

• ten years of universal basic education

• increasing access to senior secondary education • expanding vocational and technical training • promoting lifelong learning

• increasing access and equity at tertiary level • improving access to education services by children


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25 000 20 000 15 000 10 000 5 000 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 External Botswana Student Placement 2000-2010 Destination 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTAL Botswana 5 984 6 228 6 435 6 583 5 803 5 200 5 455 14 500 17 300 8 141 8 024 89 653 External 727 5 274 3 049 1 797 1 631 1 672 1 946 2 317 1 751 501 315 20 980 Total 6 711 11 502 9 484 8 380 7 434 6 872 7 401 16 817 19 051 8 642 8 339 110 633

The education sector receives the largest share of total government expenditure. Recurrent expenditure on edu-cation averaged 28% of the total in the three years to 2009/10. Investment in education continues to be a prior-ity even in the current planning period, NDP 10, in order to achieve the aspirations of Botswana’s Vision 2016. Over the past 10 years, 2000 - 2010, almost 110 500 students were sponsored by government, nearly 20% of whom were placed in foreign institutions. The highest peak was observed during 2007 and 2008 with between

15 000 and 20 000 students placed in both local and for-eign institutions. Since 2000 there has been a gradual de-cline in the number of placements in foreign institutions, resulting in 5% and 4% respectively for 2009 and 2010. During the same period there was a significant increase in government sponsorship of students to local private institutions. Although the global economic recession has impacted on the government’s ability to maintain sponsor-ship volumes, the government remains committed to fully supporting the education of its citizens.


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D 60 000 50 000 40 000 30 000 20 000 10 000 0 2003/4 2004/5 2005/6 2006/7 2007/8 2008/9 Education Landscape in Botswana

The Government emphasises the development of human resources by investing in education and training to raise productivity. Botswana has both private and public institu-tions of international standard that meet the increasing demands of the rapidly growing economy.

The primary school enrolment in Botswana is consistent with targets set for the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015. In 2004 the net enrolment rate for the primary school age group, those between 7 and 13 years, was 98.5%.

The transition rate from primary to junior secondary school is 96.9% and there has been an increase in the junior to senior secondary school transition rate as a result of gov-ernment’s systematic investment in education and expan-sion of senior secondary schools.

As a result of the government’s efforts and overall strat-egy to ensure an informed and educated nation, student enrolment increased considerably from 20 000 to nearly 50 000 between 2003/04 and 2008/09.

Botswana Education Hub

Botswana provides a unique investment opportunity based on its background and distinctive historical, cultur-al, geographiccultur-al, political and economic characteristics. It has a unique investor value proposition to fully leverage and transform itself into an education investment destina-tion of choice, and a centre of excellence in educadestina-tion, by attracting leading tertiary institutions, scholars, research-ers and students into the country. The Government of Bo-tswana is fully committed to the establishment of centres of excellence in selected educational opportunities.


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Botswana’s tourism industry effectively started in the 1960s when safari hunting operators from Kenya ‘dis-covered’ the country. Thus, hunting was the foundation upon which the modern industry was built, and even to-day it continues to play a small, but diminishing, part. It is also true that the ethos and culture of the then Kenyan tourism was transported to the region, and its values con-tinue subtly to permeate the industry, which is largely but not completely focused on the Okavango Delta and the national parks and game reserves of the north.

In these areas there are approximately 140 safari lodges, the majority of them serving the top end of the market and providing exclusivity, personal attention and out-standing wildlife experiences. For this reason safari lodges tend to be small, seldom catering for more than twelve to twenty guests at any time. The majority of the lodges are in remote areas, with access for visitors being almost exclusively by air.

Most of them were founded during the time when “Low Volume, High Cost” was the mantra of tourism develop-ment in this country: a refrain no longer voiced. It has now been accepted that such a policy cannot be applied universally throughout the country; in some of the more remote areas such as the Kalahari, with limited attractions, only low cost enterprises with relatively high volumes of traffic are seen to have any hope of success.

Therefore, for the high-end market, service and manage-ment staff need to be appropriately skilled and experi-enced.

Shortage of such staff is a critical factor. Every lodge or group of lodges spends considerable resources on training its own staff because, in their view, existing training insti-tutions in the country are not providing the kind of practi-cal experience needed. While there are many institutions in Botswana that seek to train and prepare individuals for work in the tourism and hospitality industry, there is a vast gap between the skills and experience imparted and the skills and experience needed.

Generally, the industry in Botswana is divided between photographic safari lodges and mobile safaris.

Photographic Safari Lodges

The photographic safari lodge is by far the largest and most prosperous sector: there are over 210 lodges operat-ing in the country, approximately 145 of which are to be found mainly, but not exclusively, in Ngamiland.

Favour-ing a relatively small number of guests so as to facilitate top-level, personal attention, the tented lodges are small, accommodating between twelve and twenty-four guests (with currently about 2 000 photographic safari camp beds in total). Increasingly, there is a concentration of commercial interests so that now some 80% of the indus-try is managed through four major corporate entities.

Mobile Safaris

Mobile safaris are vehicle-borne tented safaris which move between two or three different destinations in the course of a single safari. This is a much smaller segment of the market: currently 171 operators are listed throughout the country, again with the majority based in Ngamiland; but there is a growing number of others elsewhere in Botswa-na, as well as some that operate almost exclusively in Bo-tswana but are based outside the country.

Trends in the industry

There are several distinctive current trends that describe the photographic tourism market, based on:

1. Increasing luxury

It is the nature of the industry that booking agents, who account for some 80% of the bed nights sold and who take commissions of up to 30% of the ‘rack rate’, have a vested interest in promoting camps that provide ‘high-end’ services and experiences. Thus it is that ever rising levels of personal attention and care are lavished on cli-ents, which in turn drive up costs, which drive up prices - and, therefore, the agents’ commissions!

As the industry moves further and further into the higher end of client taste, so do clients demand more and im-proved services. For example, air conditioners are now be-ing requested for tented accommodation, and clients are sometimes aghast to discover that there is no cell phone coverage in wilderness areas (with the result that two of the larger businesses are now investigating how they may install such a service). Guests on mobile safaris – expedi-tions that do not necessarily have fixed itineraries and rely mostly on tented accommodation – are now asking for the provision of flush toilets!

2. Changing client interests

In addition to being more discerning and willing to pay more, a growing number of clients wish to ‘be involved’ with the local people and get to know the culture of the country. There was a time when the experience of wilder-ness and photographs of animals were all that counted. While these elements are still very much present, clients additionally like to visit villages, interact with local people, learn something about the country’s history, visit heritage sites, be associated with small-scale projects (often donat-ing funds to them) and return to their homes feeldonat-ing that they really have come to know something of Botswana and its people.


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Visitors are much better informed about their destinations and are also aware of, and often care deeply about, issues of sustainability and environmental health. Increasingly, there is evidence that visitors tend to expect of all levels of staff the ability to understand and to explain the op-erator’s position on such matters. Visitors are much more critical today than in the past of their host’s environmental credentials.

3. Widening scope of activities

Game viewing from specially designed vehicles has been, until recent years, the mainstay of the industry but, as a result of competition and consumer demand, an ever-expanding range of activities has been or is being intro-duced. These include game walks, mekoro (dugout ca-noe) trips, elephant riding, cultural interests such as village and house visits, shopping, heritage sites, horseback sa-faris, ballooning and specialist safaris such as birding and biology. Currently these trends are not being adequately addressed by training institutions in the region.

4. Tourism as an Investment

Botswana is a large country with a small population, a small domestic market, and a small but growing economy. The Strategy for Excellence represents a government initia-tive to address these challenges and transform Botswana into a higher income economy, promoting education and skills development and new economic activities.

Within the region the tourism industry has experienced significant growth. The industry in South Africa is expect-ed to grow at over 9.8 % per annum to the year 2015 and has received a considerable boost as a result of its suc-cessful World Cup event. Angola, recovering from twenty years of civil war, is opening its doors to tourism, as Zim-babwe is likely to be within a year or so. Regional growth of tourism is expected to top 5% per annum.

Internationally there is evidence of world economies recov-ering, albeit slowly, from the recent global financial crisis. Brazil, Russia, India and China are acquiring a larger profile on the international economic scene. Botswana is taking advantage of this window of opportunity, as exemplified by a safari company that has recently sent a delegation to Russia to seek new clients.

Although tourism was affected by the global recession, with the travel & tourism contribution to GDP contracting by 4.8% in 2009, the World Travel and Tourism Associa-tion (WTTA) forecasts that this sector’s share will grow by 3.2% in 2011, with momentum building from the second half of 2010. The contribution of travel & tourism to GDP is expected to rise from 9.2% (US$5 751 bn) in 2010 to 9.6% (US$11 151 bn) by 2020.

for diversification. The industry is well positioned to ben-efit from global tourism development as the country rap-idly expands and significantly broadens its tourism product base so that it appeals to a much wider range of tourist tastes and budgets. In addition, efforts are being made to continually strengthen the tourism industry by establish-ing the Botswana Tourism Organisation and developestablish-ing a Botswana Brand. Furthermore, the Transport Hub has been created to improve public access to services with in-novative transportation solutions. As the industry grows, direct employment in the hotel and restaurant sector is expected to grow beyond the current levels of 16 500. Therefore as economic prosperity returns, and as democ-racy and political stability continue to spread in southern Africa, the prospect for the tourism industry in general is most favourable, particularly for Botswana.

Hospitality Industry

Although tourism is a vital part of the hotel business in Bo-tswana, there is a subtle distinction between the business of photographic safari lodges, on the one hand, and the hospitality industry in commercial hotels on the other. The hospitality industry consists of a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, restau-rants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, etc. While the tourism industry deals almost exclusively with small numbers of high fee-paying people with far higher demands for service and personal attention than is provid-ed in standard commercial hotels, the hospitality industry deals with large numbers of individuals who receive less personal attention. These dissimilarities result in totally dif-ferent demands with respect to the training and skill levels of employees in the tourism sector. Such individuals must be skilled to an exceptional level to be able to withstand the scrutiny of guests with very high expectations. There are about 315 accommodation facilities registered with the Botswana Tourism Board and catering for a vari-ety of tastes and visitor requirements. The accommodation options range from top class hotels and lodges to more af-fordable ones, including full service accommodation, bed and breakfast, guest houses, cottages, and self-catering facilities to suit the needs of all types of travelers. Accommodation grading, based on the formulation by the Botswana Bureau of Standards, is comparable to inter-national benchmarks and administered by the Botswana Tourism Board. The grading runs from one to five stars, with the latter denoting the highest quality. There are two five- and two four-star graded facilities in the capital city, Gaborone, and one five- and three four-star facilities in the Chobe region. Many other graded accommodation facilities, ranging between four and one star, as well as


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Public Training Institutions

* BOTA Accredited ** Tertiary Education Council registered *** Both

Name of Institution Programme(s) Offered

University of Botswana ** Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Tourism and Hospitality Francistown College of Technical Certificate in Travel and Tourism

and Vocational Education * Certificate in Hospitality Operations Maun Technical College * Certificate in Travel and Tourism

Gaborone Technical College * Foundation Programme in Hospitality and Tourism Certificate in Hospitality Operations

Certificate in Travel and Tourism

Kanye Brigade * Certificate in International Tourism

Botswana Wildlife Training Professional Tour Guide

Institute *** Certificate in Wildlife Management

Diploma in Wildlife Management

Trainee Performance Assessment – Certificate and Diploma Programmes Induction and Basic Training

Leadership Skills Enhancement Course Problem Animal Control

Trophy Identification Introduction to Computers

Database and Information Management Customer Service

Madirelo Testing and Training Vocational training, without an apprenticeship contract,

Centre * for the following hotel and catering occupations:

Chef Waiter

Botswana National Productivity Effective Customer Service

Centre (BNPC) * Five Star Service

Leading Service Organisations to Customer Focus Industrial Housekeeping

In addition, BNPC offers several other training courses that may be applicable to the tourism industry:

Change Management Project Management Service Quality Supervision Team Building Improving Productivity

Building High Performance Teams


As the tourism industry has grown, both public and private sectors have moved to meet its needs. Their response has not been entirely satisfactory, however, as shown in the following tables, which also illustrate the training programmes offered to the photographic safari industry:


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Private Training Institutions

* BOTA Accredited ** Tertiary Education Council registered *** Both

Name of Institution Programme(s) Offered

G.I.P.S. (Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies) *** Diploma in International Tourism

ABM University *** Advanced Diploma in Travel, Tourism and


Limkokwing University of Creative Technology ** Associate Degree in Hotel Management Associate Degree in International Tourism Associate Degree in Tourism Management New Era College of Arts, Science and Technology *** Diploma in Accommodation, Operations and


Realic Education Services * Certificate in Travel and Tourism

Ba Isago University College (Francistown) *** Certificate in Tourism

Decatic Commercial School * Certificate in Travel and Tourism

Mega-Size * Certificate in Travel and Tourism

Gaborone University College of Law * Certificate in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Career Dreams Centre * Certificate in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Okavango Guiding School * Field Guides Training

Institute of Professional Excellence * Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Wilderness Training Facility * Hospitality


Professional Guide Safari Tourism Lodge Management


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All the bigger hotels in the country – approximately 15 to 17 – have their own training staff or rely heavily on on-the-job training. Every hotel spends considerable re-sources on training its own staff because, in their view, existing training institutions do not provide the kind of practical experience needed. While there are many insti-tutions in Botswana that seek to prepare individuals for work in the tourism and hospitality industry, there is a vast gap between the skills and experience provided and those that are needed. The significance of this gap is illustrated by the time and resources expended by the industry in attempting to train staff to the required level. None of these institutions is currently offering courses suitable for the growing demand in the industry

Regionally, South Africa has safari training schools in Lodge Management, covering hospitality orientation, rooms divi-sion, food and beverages and guest services. However, the emphasis is more on creating field guides. At the end of a six-month training period in a variety of hospitality courses, trainees are allocated to safari lodges where they are transformed into fully fledged safari guides.


Apart from work and residence permits for expatriate staff, a lodge-type training school will require a permit to operate from the Botswana Tourist Organisation, and hotel and liquor licences from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. In addition, legal compliance with locally appli-cable laws and regulations concerning safety, health and environment is mandatory.

All educational institutions and lecturers, instructors, and teachers have to meet the registration and accreditation requirements of the Tertiary Education Council and the Botswana Training Authority.



There is a considerable gap between the standards, knowl-edge and experience demanded by the photographic lodge industry and those evident in the students graduat-ing from the various contributgraduat-ing traingraduat-ing institutions. For this reason, there is a need for a facility that trains all lev-els of staff, from groundsmen upwards through waiters, housekeepers, launderers, bartenders, receptionists, su-pervisors and on to senior managers and guides. Not only must such people be trained, but they must be trained for the very different life of an employee in a photographic safari lodge deep in the wilderness in Botswana, remote from modern urban life, with clients whose expectations in terms of service are extremely high.

The project is a Photographic Safari Tourism Training Lodge in Maun. It will serve as a functioning tourist lodge with all the amenities and services associated with such an establishment. In addition, it will provide practical and theoretical training of the highest order to students of the institution who will, under appropriate supervision, be running the facility.


Despite the number of lodges, and even allowing for growth in their number, the kind of specialised establish-ment envisaged will survive if the student intake is both from within Botswana and from the region. Therefore, the specification is for a regional or continent-wide centre of excellence specialising in training for Safari Tourism, and its graduates will be the most sought after in the region. The emphasis is on photographic tourism. Many individu-als mistakenly believe that the modes of operation for ho-tels are so similar to those of a safari lodge that the two are, effectively, identical, and that training and experience in one is the same as training and experience in the oth-er. This is not the case. While there are many similarities there are also many subtle differences. For example, the operating environment is totally different, ranging from elephants to snakes: remoteness, uncomfortable living conditions and, above all, a different type of client with different expectations.

The objective of such an institution will be to provide the local and regional tourist market with a ready-to-work staff capable of filling all levels of employment in a typical safari lodge.

The premises for the institution will either be purpose built or rented to cater for residential and non-residential stu-dents. The institution will have the attributes of a work-ing lodge manned and run by the students themselves under appropriate supervision. It will operate as a fully functioning photographic lodge offering reduced rates to ‘experimental’ visitors. It will be able to give students the necessary practical lodge experience, which, together with a block-release programme to supporting photo-graphic lodges in the surrounding area, will be ideal for their chosen career.

The student intake will be 150 in the first year rising to 350 by the fourth. Some of the students will be residen-tial, working shifts so as to gain the required practical ex-perience. Residence will be reserved for the small number of students required to maintain services to guests. Other local hotels, namely Cresta, have shown interest in accom-modating other students at special rates, with the consid-eration of building and opening specific residences. Graduates will be well trained, highly experienced and


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fessional individuals able to satisfy world class standards. They will graduate at certificate, diploma and degree level but their training will not, and must not, be solely academic. There must be a very high degree of practical training – of actual experience in the field: this essential element is the reason why the project should be based in Maun, the very centre of the industry in Botswana, with many photographic safari camps within quick and easy reach.

Graduates must be able to ‘walk into the job’ with a mini-mal adjustment period. A key provision is that the block release must be extensive, and must utilise the surround-ing lodges to ensure the highest possible level of practical training.


The investment opportunity for a Photographic Safari Tourism Training Lodge in Maun is a real one, for the fol-lowing reasons:

• Growing industry and increasing expectations of clients

• The unique environment of the Okavango

• The industry’s requirement for a particular type of training

• The fact that no other appropriate training is avail-able, so that a service gap exists

• That Botswana is a country with the best environ-ment suitable for the training needed, and is a place where the service is required.

Botswana has an excellent, efficient and well organized tourism industry that enjoys strong government support; it also enjoys a sound reputation for development and for a responsible attitude to environmental issues. It has several other advantages such as a central location with respect to the region and SADC, English as an official language, political stability, limited corruption that is the subject of determined efforts to contain it, good surface infrastruc-ture (roads, telephone, water reticulation, electricity sup-ply), and the opportunity to expand regionally.


Based on 2007 employment figures, it is estimated that there are approximately 26 000 direct jobs in the tour-ism and travel industry today. Given an annual growth of 5% based on the World Travel and Tourism Council esti-mates, and staff turnover of a minimum of 10%, there is an excess of 2 000 vacancies per annum in the market (of

Thus any institution that offers better quality training will not be short of candidates.

Considering the above, as well as the 140 or so photo-graphic tourist lodges in Ngamiland out of more than 160 in the country, the potential student market in Botswana alone is estimated at roughly 580 students per annum. This figure is expected to grow by an additional 5% annu-ally and within five years a student body of 700 to 1 000 may well be attainable.

Despite the number of lodges, and even allowing for growth in their number, it is unlikely that the kind of spe-cialised establishment envisaged would survive only on students from within Botswana. Therefore it would also need to draw from the region.

The regional student market includes the whole SADC re-gion and East Africa. Surrounding countries have a high need for professionally trained staff, particularly Malawi, Zambia and Mocambique. Additionally Angola, in reviv-ing its post-civil war economy, will have a high demand for trained personnel. In time, there would be no reason to exclude students from beyond African shores. Initially there might be 20 to 30 students in the second year, but that number will rapidly rise if the institution conforms to its founding criteria as a centre of excellence.

Most of the investment by the Botswana government in the hotel and tourism sectors has been through local institutions for certificate, diploma and tertiary qualifica-tions offered at technical colleges, Limkokwing University College of Technology and the University of Botswana. For example, in the last three years only 16 students have been sent abroad for tertiary study in hotel and tourism-related subjects (Malaysia 2, Namibia 5 and South Africa 9). During that same period, 270 students have been sent to overseas universities for other qualifications, such as Hospitality and Tourism Operating Systems, Financial Management and Hospitality Services Marketing.



University of Botswana

For non-government-supported Batswana students the current (2010) fee levels are:

• First degree level, Hospitality and Tourism, 4-year course with 2 semesters per year: P483 per credit with a minimum of 16 credits required per semes-ter.


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revises fees every year, this figure can be taken only as an indicator of the minimum cost.

For government-supported Batswana students the fees are the same except that the cost is born directly by the government, which provides the following additional funding:

• For non-residential students, a food allowance of P4 400 per semester (P8 800 per annum)

• For residential students, an additional accommo-dation allowance of P1 500 per month (P18 000 per annum).

• Foreign students from SADC countries pay the same as Batswana. Those from elsewhere in Africa and the rest of the world pay P16 300 per semes-ter (P32 600 per annum).

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

Fees for a four-year degree course are P25 000 per annum and for an associate degree (3 years) P19 500. Only an associate degree course is on offer in Hotel Management, although a full degree course ‘might come’ in the future. Degree and associate degree courses are however avail-able in Tourism and Hospitality. 95% of students at the university are Batswana, 99% are being paid for by the Government of Botswana and 1% is privately funded.

Botswana Technical Colleges

These are located in Maun, Francistown, Palapye, Jwaneng, Selebi-Phikwe and Gaborone (3). All courses, including hospitality and tourism-related subjects, are charged as follows:

• Foundation level: 1-year course, 3 terms per year at P250 per term, total P750 per annum

• Certificate and Advanced Certificate Level: 1 year and one term at P250 per term, total P1 000. Whether the fees will be affordable is a critical question, and very pertinent to this investment opportunity. At both the University of Botswana (± 12 500 students) and

Lim-kokwing University (± 7 500 students), over 95% of the students are sponsored by government. Therefore bur-saries, grants etc. will be essential and, for this reason, partnership with the government will be equally essential. Government’s potential commitment to the project is per-tinently demonstrated by the sponsorship of students for suitable training locally and outside the country. As long as the proposed establishment meets the standards expected of it and provides for the needs of the industry, the ernment will be a willing partner. Dependence on gov-ernment sponsorship is inevitable, and therefore a close working relationship with government will be critical.

Regional Schools

The Association of Hospitality and Tourism Schools in Af-rica (AHTSA), formed fourteen years ago, has 27 tourism schools in 15 countries in East and Southern Africa. In ad-dition, there are currently eleven schools in South Africa that are not listed as AHTSA members. There are also oth-er non-listed schools in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. Utalli is a well known and highly regarded school in Ke-nya. However, in common with all the other schools men-tioned, although they cater for hotel and photographic safaris the emphasis is not hands-on, practical experience in actual wildlife area photographic lodges. They are also not located in an area appropriate to the safari industry. This makes long-term practical training very difficult to or-ganize and manage.

Perhaps because of its proximity (it is only 140 km from Gaborone), the South Africa hotel school at Mafikeng is widely used by the hotel industry. The school is registered with the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Author-ity (THETA) of South Africa and the Council for Higher Ed-ucation (CHE). It is also accredited to the City and Guilds Institute of London (which sets course syllabi, course con-tent and examination papers). The school offers advanced diplomas, diplomas and certificates, among other qualifi-cations. The advanced diploma is a three-year course of which 70% is theoretical and 30% practical. A residential course costs approximately R40, 000 per annum.


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New Facility

Description Quantity Floor Area Total Area Cost/Floor Area Amount

Administration Block 1 200 200 8 000 1 600 000 Teaching Classroom 1 200 200 5 000 1 000 000 Computer Room 1 186 186 5 000 930 000 Library 1 200 200 8 000 1 600 000 Sub Total 786 5 130 000 Add 10% Contigency 513 000 Sub Total 5 643 000

Add 25% for Furniture & Equipment 1 410 750

Sub Total 7 053 750

Add 12% VAT 846 450

Total Estimated Costs 7 900 200

Existing Facility

Initial Capital Costs for refurbishment and/or partitions 690 000

Operating Cost

Rental per year for Existing Facility at P90/m2 424 440

Other Costs (Utilities, salaries etc) 975 560

Total Operating Costs 1 400 000


All monetary values in this section are presented in Botswana Pula (BWP) with a convertible rate of 1BWP = 0.15USD (as of November 2010).


Capital Investment

Costs would depend entirely on the size and scope of the operation that any investor might envisage. It is suggest-ed that a large establishment is not initially strictly neces-sary: it would be prudent to start with a relatively small size, expanding the institution physically as the student numbers increase.

Investors would need to consider the cost of suitable premises and associated operating costs, including rates, rent, electricity, water, telephones, staff salaries, and man-agement and administration expenses. While these will be entirely dependent on investor choices, current (2010) building prices in Maun vary from P3, 500 to P5, 000 per m2, depending on quality specifications and the amount of imported material; office space rentals vary from P70 to P80 per m2.

The opportunity assumes that the safari lodge, through which the training school will be run, is a functioning and sustainable business in it’s own right. Land, conferencing and dining facilities will therefore not be required as part of this investment.


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Estimated Annual Revenue Based on Number of Degree, Diploma and Certificate Students

Year Degree Fee Revenue Diploma Fee Revenue Certif. Fee Revenue Annual Income

1st 20 25 000 500 000 30 20 000 600 000 100 1 500 150 000 1 250 000

2nd 30 25 000 750 000 50 20 000 1 000 000 150 1 500 225 000 1 975 000 3rd 40 25 000 1 000 000 80 20 000 1 600 000 200 1 500 300 000 2 900 000 4th 50 25 000 1 250 000 110 20 000 2 200 000 200 1 500 300 000 3 750 000

Option 1: This assumes the use of existing facilities

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

Capital Investment (CI)

-Initial Investment (Pula) 690 000

Operational Cost (OC) per year 1 400 000 1 540 000 1 694 000 1 863 400 2 049 740

Revenue per year 1 250 000 1 975 000 2 900 000 3 750 000 3 750 000

NPV over a 10-year period 6 672 610

IRR over a 10-year period 78%

NPV over a 15-year period 9 179 237

IRR over a 15-year period 78%

* There are a number of existing establishments within reach of Maun that could be converted into a suitable training lodge. Two are within 15 km of the town and a third is further away, but closer to the game areas.

Option 2: This assumes the use of new facilities

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

Capital Investment (CI) -

Initial Investment 7 900 200

Operational Cost (OC) per year 975 560 1 073 116 1 180 428 1 298 470 1 428 317

Revenue per year 1 250 000 1 975 000 2 900 000 3 750 000 3 750 000

NPV over a 10 year period 3 048 715

IRR over a 10 year period 16%

NPV over a 15 year period 6 305 934


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Botswana is described by the World Travel and Tourism Council as one of the world’s best-kept tourism secrets, but current initiatives in the country are seeking to pro-mote it more widely. The World Travel and Tourism Coun-cil forecasts that growth in travel and tourism of up to 5% a year to 2017 is very likely to be met. Therefore the core of any marketing strategy for the project should be based on its positive attributes:

• A centre of undeniable excellence in its field • Excellent credentials at an academic level • Meeting specialist needs in a specialist region • Lecturers with years of practical experience in the

field in the industry, in addition to appropriate qualifications

• At least 50% of the time spent in hands-on practi-cal experience in the field, under the supervision of carefully chosen, experienced operators

• Three levels of qualification – certificate, diploma, degree – through one- to four-year courses • High professional and academic standards, with

no tolerance of inadequate performance

• A school of African Tourism, in Africa, with lectur-ers from Africa or with African experience. • An institution set deep in the heart of one of the

most amazing wilderness and wildlife areas in the world.


Pricing will have to be competitive, given that the well-served and well-trained South African tourist industry lies just across the border. Although it may not serve the par-ticular needs of Okavango-based photographic tourism, it still sets a price level that cannot be completely ignored. Since many of the students are likely to be government sponsored, the price must accord with what the govern-ment is accustomed to paying regionally and internation-ally for a similar quality product.


The Botswana government will favour well-known brands and some sort of partnership or joint venture arrange-ment.


The target market will, initially, be Batswana needed by the local industry, but will eventually include foreign re-gional and continental students.


Maun is the heartland of the photographic safari indus-try and is contiguous to tourist attractions such as the Moremi Game Park, the Okavango Delta, the Nxai Pan National Park; it also offers opportunities for packaged mobile safaris to the Chobe National Park and the Central Kalahari Game Park.


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In the short term, initially four to five years, the majority of students will be local and only a few regional students will apply. During that period a long-term marketing pro-gramme will be developed aimed at attracting regional students.

Other Opportunity

A hotel school in an eastern city of Botswana that caters for all levels between Certificate and Degree.

The objective of the school would be:

a) To produce graduates capable of entering the profession of hotelier at certificate, diploma and degree levels and in a manner such that a mini-mal amount of orientation time would be needed. This can only happen if there is a very close match between what hotels are seeking in new staff and what a hotel school, such as is proposed, actually offers. One way to achieve this would be for the training to include a very high level of practical work.

b) To develop and support Botswana’s hospitality in-dustry through the provision of locally trained Bo-tswana citizens.

c) To reduce for Botswana the cost of importing ex-patriate trained professionals.

d) To reduce current outflows of foreign exchange due to training of hospitality professionals in for-eign countries.

e) To provide a pool of qualified labour to facilitate the growth of the industry, the quality of the ser-vices provided and the appeal of the industry as a whole to foreign direct investment.

This tertiary level hotel school, modelled on existing schools in other parts of the world, will serve as a cen-tre of excellence and produce certificate, diploma and degree level graduates in all aspects of hotel work from cleaners, housekeepers, laundry, bar tenders, front office, reception, food and beverage, to supervisors and senior management, as well as refresher courses for senior man-agement and courses on gaming.

There is a need for premises, either purpose built or rented, suitable for residential and non-residential students. There is no reason why, to defray costs, it should not take on the attributes of a fully operational hotel manned and run by the students themselves, under appropriate supervision, offering reduced rates to visitors. In this way it would be able to give students the necessary practical hotel experi-ence, which, together with a block-release programme to supporting hotels in the country, would equip them ideally for their chosen career.

The opportunity is based on the assumption of 120 stu-dents in the first year, rising to 265 by the fourth. Not all of these would necessarily be residential, and students may work shifts so as to gain the required practical experi-ence. Therefore, depending on how the school is struc-tured, residence may either not be required at all or may be required for only a very small number of people main-taining services to guests.

The school should also cater for the photographic safari lodge/tented camp industry, notwithstanding the fact that the safari industry operates in a very different environment and with a comparatively narrowly defined and special-ized market segment. While it is acknowledged that there are many similarities, there are also significant differences between the facilities sufficient to justify two separates entities to cope with the specific training needs of each.


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