Botswana Income from Tourism

Botswana recorded a total of two million tourists in 2018, ranking 73rd in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller country regularly performs lower in comparison to the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Botswana, the result is a much more comparable picture: With 0.76 tourists per resident, Botswana ranked 55th in the world. In Southern Africa, it ranked 1st.

Botswana generated around 217.00 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product and approximately 7 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southern Africa.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism

The Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), a quasi-government 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 the 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  

How much does Botswana make from tourism?

What was Botswana’s Tourism Revenue in 2020?

217 2020712 2019USD mn

Why is tourism important in Botswana?

Tourism plays a significant role in the national economy, creates jobs, and exhibits enormous potential for future growth. The future is positive for the industry in Botswana – we seek to expand tourism in the country by adding more products and increasing geographic spread.

What is the main economy of Botswana?

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Botswana’s economy is mostly dependent on diamond mining. Diamond mining contributes to 50% of the government revenue mainly through its 50:50 joint venture with De Beers in the Debswana Diamond Company.