Enclave tourism and its socio-economic impacts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Publication Year:

This paper draws on the dependency paradigm to explain the development of enclave tourism and its socio-economic impacts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using both primary and secondary data source, the study indicates that international tourists, foreign safari companies and investors dominate the tourism industry in the Okavango Delta. The foreign domination and ownership of tourism facilities has led to the repatriation of tourism revenue, domination of management positions by expatriates, lower salaries for citizen workers, and a general failure by tourism to significantly contribute to rural poverty alleviation in the Okavango region. Tourism as a result has a minimal economic impact on rural development mainly because it has weak linkages with the domestic economy, particularly agriculture. Because of its nature, tourism in the Okavango Delta cannot be described as being sustainable from a socio-economic perspective. In order to address problems of enclave tourism development and promote more inclusive and beneficial tourism development in the Okavango, there is need to adopt policies and strategies that will ensure that substantial amounts of tourism revenue are retained in the Okavango and Botswana. These strategies should also ensure that tourism development in the Okavango Delta has strong linkages with the rest of the economy in Botswana. Keywords: Okavango Delta, Enclave tourism, Dependency paradigm, Sustainable development, Poverty, International and domestic tourism.

Publication Title:

Tourism Management

Item Type:
Journal Article

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