Journal of Arid Environments (2003) 54: 447–467 doi:10.1006/jare.2002.

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The socio-economic and environmental impacts of tourism development on the Okavango Delta, north-western Botswana

Joseph E. Mbaiwa* Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre, University of Botswana, Private Bag 285, Maun, Botswana
(Received 22 July 2002)
The Okavango Delta is one of Botswana’s leading tourist destination areas, mainly because of the rich wildlife resources it sustains and its scenic beauty. Tourism has stimulated the development of a variety of allied infrastructure and facilities, such as hotels, lodges and camps, airport and airstrips, in the Okavango region. Through its backward linkages, wholesale and retail businesses have also been established, especially in Maun, to offer various goods to the tourist industry. Tarred roads and other communication facilities have also been developed in Ngamiland District partly to facilitate tourism development. Tourism in the Okavango Delta also provides employment opportunities to local communities and it is a significant source of foreign exchange for Botswana. Despite its positive socio-economic impacts, the industry is beginning to have negative environmental impacts in the area such as the destruction of the area’s ecology through driving outside the prescribed trails, noise pollution and poor waste management. This, therefore, suggests that tourism in the Okavango Delta has socio-economic and environmental impacts, issues which are addressed by this paper based on the concept of sustainability. # 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. Keywords: socio-economic and environmental impacts; tourism; enclave tourism; community-based tourism; eco-tourism; sustainability and sustainable development

Introduction This paper discusses the socio-economic and environmental impacts of tourism development in the Okavango Delta located within Ngamiland District in northwestern Botswana. Because of its rich wildlife diversity and scenic beauty, the Okavango Delta has in the past two decades attracted tourists from various countries such as those of North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The growth of tourism in the Okavango Delta has also resulted in the establishment of tourist facilities in the area. Tourism in the Okavango Delta is characterized by both consumptive and non-consumptive wildlife uses. As a result, significant tourist activities in the delta include safari hunting, game viewing, walking
*Corresponding author. Fax: +267-661-835. E-mail: mbaiwaje@hotmail.com 0140-1963/03/020447 + 21 $30.00/0 # 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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trails, dug-in canoe or mekoro safaris and several other photographic tourist activities. The nature of tourism development in destination areas such as the Okavango Delta (a natural wetland) make it have socio-economic and environmental impacts, an aspect that this study aims at addressing. These issues are assessed based on the concept of sustainability, which is anchored on the three main principles of social equity, economic efficiency, and ecological sustainability. Generally, it is difficult to accurately quantify tourism, it is arguably, the world’s largest industry, accounting for about 5?5% of the world’s Gross National Product and 6% of the employment, and it is growing fast (Glasson et al. 1995). Most governments encourage the growth of tourism in their respective countries in order to support economic development. For poor countries, regions, towns and cities, tourism is seen as the fast track to development. Hall (1995) states that the main reason why governments, particularly in developing countries encourage tourism investment is because of the expectations that it will contribute to economic development. It is also argued that tourism should be seen as a means of development in a broader sense (see, for example, Krapf, 1961; Kaiser & Helber, 1978; Mathieson & Wall, 1982; Murphy, 1985; McIntosh et al.,1995; Wahab & Pigram, 1997; Cooper et al., 1998). These analysts describe the broader sense of tourism to mean the potential of the industry to have direct socio-economic impacts on destination regions. This issue is made more clear by Binns (1995), who states that development should not only refer to economic matters but should encompass social, economic, environmental and ethical considerations such that its measurement may incorporate indicators of poverty, unemployment, inequality and self-reliance. Carter (1991) notes that there is a cumulative relationship between tourism development, the environment and socioeconomic development. This means that if tourism is to contribute to sustainable development, then it must be economically viable, ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate (Wall, 1997). This suggests that an economic initiative such as tourism should be based on the idea that economic development should conform to the concept of sustainable development. The basic principle of this concept is that of intergenerational equity, which says that our development is sustainable only to the extent that we can meet our needs today without prejudice to those of the future generations. Therefore, the present generation should leave for the next generation, a stock of a quality of life assets no less than those we have inherited (Pearce et al., 1989). The main thrust of the concept of sustainable development is the utilization and management of renewable resources for the benefit of today’s generations and at the same time making the same resources available for future generations (WCED, 1987). However, Chambers (1986) state that sustainable development appears to be the terminology of managers, and is not as yet, the terminology of the managed. As a result, in many parts of the world, the growing numbers of poor people have inevitably led to the degradation of the environment each day just to make ends meet. This suggests that the development of tourism in environments such as those of the Okavango Delta should be designed such that it does not lead to an environmental trade-off but to an improved environmental and human welfare. It must give priority to the livelihoods of the poor (Redclift, 1987; WCED, 1987). Despite the positive assumptions of the concept of sustainable development, there are those who feel that sustainable development involves contradictory goals (e.g. Redclift, 1987; Arnold, 1989; Lele, 1991; Warren, 1996), but in spite of this, it has come to be generally accepted that ‘real’ development cannot be achieved unless the strategies are sustainable and consistent with social values and institutions. Related to the issue of sustainability in tourism development, is the new concept of eco-tourism. Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) states that eco-tourism is a type of tourism that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations and promotes visitor awareness in environmental conservation. According to Carter (1991), green or eco-tourism focuses on the need

reflecting a wider distribution of tourism revenues in favour of the traditional and new. This then suggest that the two concepts of sustainable development and eco-tourism are interrelated and both advocate for secure livelihoods of the poor. According to the WTO (1999) international arrivals increased from 429 million people in 1989 to 625 million people in 1998. Primary data collection involved the administration of structured and semi-structured questionnaires to 202 sampled households in the villages of Maun. Of the global tourist arrivals. McIntosh et al. 2001). For example. For example. The other three villages are located within the delta and were chosen based on their location and their level of communitybased tourism. From Table 1. Combined visitors to Maun and Okavango Delta stood at 22?1% (DOI. Cebaloss-Lascurain. Maun was chosen mainly because it is the last and the main town towards the Okavango Delta from which major supplies for tourist camps and lodges are obtained.000 in 1995 to 740.. Secondary data sources used include government reports and other relevant literature on tourism in the Okavango Delta. Informal interviews were also conducted with central and local government officials. Okavango Delta (12?1%). between 1994 and 1995. they increased from US$ 211 billion in 1989 to US$ 445 billion in 1998. Seronga. Table 1 shows that Botswana is the third largest tourist destination in Southern Africa after South Africa and Zimbabwe. International and regional tourism trends The development of the tourism industry in the Okavango Delta and in Botswana is part of the global tourism trend. 1995. 1999). particularly in South Africa. Zimbabwe and Mozambique partly contributed to the growth of tourism in the region as peace and political stability returned to the area.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 449 to promote a symbiotic. Questionnaires were also administered to 30 safari operators in the Okavango Delta and 35 tourism-related businesses in Maun. The share of Southern Africa in total tourist arrivals in Africa increased from 13?5% in 1990 to 31% in 1995 (WTO. tourist arrivals in Botswana increased from 644. In terms of receipts. Namibia. respectively. equal participation in decision-making by stakeholders and promotes environmental conservation. both for arrivals and receipts grew faster in developing countries. Maun (10?6%) and Selebi-Phikwe (3?0%). DOT (2001). Gaborone received the largest share of visitors (44?8%). 1996). This represents an increase of 45?7% in the 10-year period. approximately 4?0% visited Africa (WTO. This also represents an increase of 101?4% in the same period.000 in 1998. The growth of international tourism is attributed to higher standards of living in the west and improved modes of travel (Harrison. equitable distribution of tourism benefits. This shows that in the last decade. or at worst. which states that tourist arrivals in Botswana have grown considerably from 1994 to 1998 with an annual growth rate of almost 13% and a remarkable growth of 23% in 1997. DOT also notes that in 2000. 1995. Seronga is located in the Okavango Panhandle and has a well-developed community-based tourism while Khwai and Ditshiping are located on the lower Okavango Delta and recently started community-based tourism initiatives. international tourism. The end of liberation wars and the establishment of democratic governments in the Southern Africa. emerging tourism destination areas in developing countries. Kasane/Chobe (11?8%). co-existent relationship between tourism and environmental conservation. Francistown (28?2%). This increase is also noted by the Department of Tourism. The information contained in this paper was collected from both primary and secondary data sources. Several factors were taken into consideration when choosing these villages. The increase in tourist arrivals in the . Southern Africa is presently the fastest growing tourist destination in Africa. Khwai and Ditshiping. 1999). with increases of 17?1% and 10?5% for arrivals and receipts.

exchange earnings. an understanding of the spatial location of tourism activities and identification of the beneficiaries of its economic and other impacts. the growth of tourism in the Okavango Delta and other parts of northern Botswana such as the Chobe region was found to have resulted in the increase of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 1999). therefore. this represented 4?5% of the country’s total GDP in 1996/97 or 7?0% of the non-mining sector (BTDP. tourism was.450 J. the development of the sector in the last two decades has made it the second largest government revenue earner and contributor to GDP after diamonds. balance of payments advantages and important infrastructure developments benefiting locals and visitors alike (Glasson et al. Regional trends in tourist arrivals and receipts 1995 Botswana Arrivals (000) Share in Africa (%) Receipts (%) Namibia Arrivals (000) Share in Africa (%) Receipts (%) South Africa Arrivals (000) Share in Africa (%) Receipts (%) Zimbabwe Arrivals (000) Share in Africa (%) Receipts (%) Source: WTO (1999). the sector contributed a total of P800 million to the GDP. 1995). In the Okavango Delta. 1996 707 3?2 2?1 405 1?9 3?4 4944 22?7 22?8 1746 8?0 1?8 1997 734 3?2 2?0 502 2?2 3?7 5437 23?5 25?5 1495 6?5 1?9 1998 740 3?0 1?9 510 2?0 3?5 5981 24?0 24?8 1600 6?4 1?7 644 3?2 2?2 399 2?0 3?8 4488 22?0 21?7 1539 7?6 1?8 Okavango region in recent past implies that the area is bound to have socio-economic and environmental impacts resulting from tourism activities. Revenue that accrues to . in 1996/97. in this study. bringing employment. The socio-economic impacts An assessment of tourism’s contribution to economic development in host regions requires an analysis of the backward and forward linkages between tourism and other sectors. found to be important for the following: Contribution to gross domestic product (gdp) and government revenue At a macro-economic level. it should have strong linkages with the rest of the domestic economy. be a catalyst for national and regional development. However. This means if tourism is to have a major influence on the economy of a country or a particular region. tourism’s contribution to GDP was insignificant since tourism was by then almost non-existent. At Botswana’s independence in 1966.. MBAIWA Table 1. For example. E. Tourism can.

camping.310?60 71.835.987 in 1999.485 2385 1999 3. taxes (income and sales tax) and licence fees. At present. vehicles.300 889.871?00 government from the tourism sector includes import duties. Maun international Airport.452 4. revenue is also collected from tourists visiting protected areas and is in the form of user fees. 1998 and 1999 (in Pula) Year Entry fees Camping Vehicles Boat Air craft Other 1998 3. Types of Fees tourists paid at Moremi Game Reserve.505 while Moremi Game Reserve generated P4. the development of the tourism in the Okavango has led to the establishment of community-based tourism initiatives which have resulted in income generation and employment of the local people.095 983.048 (DWNP.855 454.380?00 69.617 222.891 Total 4. diamond exports and revenue earned from mining leases and taxes accounts for over 50% of government revenue (Government of Botswana.140 423.796 508.175. Revenue Collected at Maun International Airport.195.107?00 6. Table 3 shows that in 2000.283 6145 Source: DWNP (2000).492.464 4564 7776 12340 2157 4241 6398 Table 3.006. At a micro-economic level. 2000). aircrafts and tour operators for using airport facilities. some of the user fees charged in protected areas include park entry fees. which is the main airport used by tourist who visit the Okavango Delta has also become a major source of government revenue in Ngamiland District.798 3760 Total 6. Much of this revenue was collected from the northern parks of Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve which are located in the area due to the influence of the Okavango Delta.280. 2000 Type of fee Landing fees Parking fees Temporary air service permit Passenger service fee En route charges Other Totals Source: DCA (2001).238 231.012 8. Revenue collected (in Pula) 170.353?00 44. Out of Botswana’s nine protected areas. The role that tourism development in the Okavango Delta play also shows that the sector is an important economic activity not only in the Okavango but in Botswana as a whole.373. 1997). boats and aircraft fees.548. The Chobe National Park in 1999 generated P4. In addition to the various taxes paid to government by tour operators. Local communities in the Okavango have been allocated land by the Tawana Land Board on which through joint . the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) collected P567.201.051 in 1995 to P9.160 466.977?40 567.871 from the various fees charged to passengers. The economic contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy shows that the sector provides the potential of diversifying Botswana’s economy and reduce its dependence on diamonds. Moremi Game Reserve is the second largest in terms of revenue generation after Chobe National Park. Revenue collected from Botswana’s protected areas increased from P5.743?00 205. As shown in Table 2.175. PARRO (Camping) 475.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 451 Table 2.

airlines. 1999). the same elephant is sold to an overseas safari hunter by the operator at US$ 80. it has become one of the main employment and revenue earners for the people of Ngamiland District. there were 1658 people employed in 2001.000 (US$ 8000).000 (P400. In Maun. type of tourism activities they are engaged in and the amount of revenue that each community has managed to generate on annual basis ever since inception of the projects in their respective community areas. there were 923 people employed. 1997). This means tourism in the Okavango Delta does not have substantial and meaningful economic benefits to the local people.000). In a sample of 30 safari camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta carried out in March 2001. There is no meaningful reinvestment of the tourism revenue into other tourist projects. indications are that most of the community tourist projects are performing poorly. wholesale and retail industries in the region. This is about 2?1% of Botswana’s population of 1.3 million people. Community-based tourism is built upon the ideals of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) which was adopted to halt the decline and degradation of natural resources through the involvement and participation of local communities in resource management (Ashley. financially) by people employed in tourismrelated activities such as hotels. The number of people supported (e. A similar study conducted at the same time but on different camps and lodges revealed that 735 people were employed in 20 camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta (Scout Wilson. the BTDP (1999) states that in 1997. they are likely to use them sustainably (Mbaiwa. local communities sell a single elephant to a safari operator at P40. E. revenue) that local communities obtain from community-based tourism are insignificant when compared to those obtained by the private tour operators or by government. Informal interviews with CBO Board members in the Okavango Delta pointed out that benefits (e. 1995). lodges. which is about 4?5% of the total employment in Botswana. 1999). 1998).g. For example. especially from wildlife resources. about 727 people were employed in 35 tourism-related businesses such as wholesales and retail businesses in the same period. . safari companies. handcrafts and transport in Botswana is estimated at 27. While it has been possible to involve local communities in the tourism business and that some of the revenue have been accrued to them. CBNRM assumes that once local communities obtain benefits from natural resources around them.015 people which is also supported by the 1995/96 Labour Force Survey (CSO. Impacts on employment The primary concern with tourism in the Okavango is its potential to create employment for the people of Ngamiland District.452 J.g. transport. Table 4 shows some of the community-based organizations (CBOs). Although the idea for adopting community-based tourism was purely based on achieving conservation needs.000 people (Government of Botswana. This suggests that in a total of 50 tourist camps and lodges. However. 2001). This is mainly a result of lack of entrepreneurship and marketing skills in the tourism business and that the concept of CBNRM is still new and generally lack understanding amongst the various communities (Mbaiwa. The extent at which employment is created is influenced by the degree of linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy. the total number of formal jobs generated by the tourism sector in the whole country was 9900. hence its sustainability in terms of socio-economic benefits becomes questionable. MBAIWA venture partnerships with tour operators have been able to generate revenue for themselves through hunting and photographic tourism activities. BOB (1999) states that this figure is an underestimate and puts the figure at 10. Tourism in the Okavango Delta has influenced the establishment of tourist facilities such as camps.

000 954.000 562.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT Table 4.240 675.000 420. 453 . Xharaxao. Xuxao Khwai Cgaecgae Hunting and photographic Mababe Zokotsana Community Trust (MZCT) Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust (OKMC) Khwai Development Trust(KDT) Cgaecgae Tlhabologo Trust (CTT) Hunting and photographic Hunting and photographic Hunting and photographic Hunting and photographic 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2000 1998 1999 2000 2000 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Source: Mbaiwa (2000). Gudigwa Mababe Ditshiping.340 686.000 315. Community-based tourism organizations in Ngamiland district and annual revenue generated in Pula Name of communitybased organization Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust (STMT) Okavango Community Trust (OCT) Village(s) involved Tourism activity Revenue generated (in Pula) Year Amount 285.000 345.750 105.336 % Increase F 0 21?1 63?1 5?7 F 4?9 33?7 4?3 5?2 F F 4?4 54?9 F À48?4 200?2 33?4 2?4 Sankuyo Hunting and photographic Seronga. Xaxaba. Boro.000 446. Daunara.800 595. 6?2 BWP = 1 USD.000 680.000 468. Eretsha. Beetsha.000 70.100. Gunotsoga.650 652.336 430.050 625.000 285.000 710.000 1.

drivers. home leave passages. they dominate better paying jobs. These findings are related to those by Mbaiwa (1999). In the Caribbean. 33 (66%) of them earn between P400?00 and P990?00 per month. Ndubano (2000) notes that out of a sample of 50 local people employed in the tourism sector in Maun. professional guides and chefs. the local people are employed at Tsaro Game Lodge and Khwai River Lodge as cooks. While tourism contributes positively to income earning for the people in the Okavango and in Botswana. These salaries are below the country’s poverty datum level of P954?78 hence she concludes that 62% of the salaries paid to local people in Maun are far below P954?78 or the poverty datum level of Botswana. therefore. the reasons that have been given for this development is that expatriates possess skills in the tourism industry which locals do not have. locals generally hold poor-quality and low-paying jobs that mostly involve manual work. be concluded that even though tourism in the Okavango Delta has led to the creation of employment opportunities and the generation of revenue for the people of the area. which state that even though the percentage of foreigners in the tourism employment is small (about 4% in the hotel and lodge sectors). who states that in Maun.454 J. In Khwai. housekeepers and drivers. furnished housing allowances. expatriate staff earn salaries that range from P4500?00 to P18. expatriate staff occupy senior and management positions such as managers. The BTDP report further notes that the gap between citizen and expatriate levels of remuneration becomes still wider when benefits and allowances are taken into consideration. On average. In the Okavango Delta.000?00 a month. groundsmen with a few employed as professional guide and assistant managers. children’s education allowances. and encashment of leave allowances. It can. kitchen hands. findings indicate that there is a disparity in wages between the local staff and the expatriate staff even when they happen to occupy the same position. Most expatriate employees qualify for generous tax-free gratuities. The above findings are consistent with those by BTDP (1999). Impacts on infrastructure development One of the areas in which tourism can influence the domestic economy is through the development of infrastructure in host regions. In the Okavango Delta. there has been an expansion of the infrastructure since the 1990s to support the growing tourism industry. the poor-quality jobs and low salaries they get indicate that tourism can be an exploitative industry to local people if proper management and control are not in place. accountants. Some of the specific infrastructure developments include the following: . These findings are also similar to those by Ndubano (2000). general managers and professional guides. cooks. accommodation facilities are largely foreign owned hence there are only six (14?2%) Botswana managers out of 42 established posts. Pantin (1998) states that about nine out of ten management positions in the hotel and restaurant sectors are occupied by expatriates with average salaries several times higher than those of the unskilled local workers. MBAIWA While the tourism industry provides employment to people of Ngamiland District. watchmen. especially for executive managers. The median salaries range from around P500?00 per month for the lowest paid categories to around P5000?00 per month for the highest paid. Most of them are employed in management positions and work as cleaners. On the other hand. Expatriate salaries are considerably higher than those paid to locals in similar positions. E. the local staff earn salaries that range from P350?00 to P1000?00 per month. This trend is characteristic of developing countries. who noted that in Sankuyo residents involved in tourism employment work in safari companies such as Crocodile Camp Safaris and provide manual labour for tasks such as skinning of wild animals during the hunting seasons and tent keeping (housekeeping). On the other hand.

Other tarred roads completed after the 1990s include the 304 km Nata– Maun road completed in 1992. The Nata–Maun road is important in that it also provides a link between Maun and Francistown. The tarred road network in northern Botswana facilitates the easy movement of mobile and self-drive tourists into the delta as well as promoting the quick delivery of tourist supplies to camps and lodges in the delta. Tarred roads such as the 505 km road linking Francistown and Kasane were constructed during this period. very much inaccessible. hence need to be controlled such that negative impacts are minimal. (ii) Maun International Airport. The extension of the terminal and runway for Maun International Airport was completed in May 1993. The Maun Airport play a major role in the facilitation of tourism development in the Okavango Delta. As a result. Victoria Falls and Gaborone. 1). The Maun Airport is one of the busiest airports in Botswana and Africa especially during tourist peak seasons. These changes are beginning to affect Ngamiland district. Windhoek. such as the Maun International Airport. informal interviews with tour operators and local people in Maun indicate that the development is also associated with negative socio-cultural impacts as well. These links form the main air routes that are used by tourists who visit the Okavango Delta. The improvement of the Maun Airport and air transport system in Maun has resulted in international flights linking Maun to Johannesburg. The 200 km Sehitwa–Ghanzi road that provides a link between Maun and Namibia through Ghanzi and the Mamono Border Post in the west was completed in July 2000. According to the Ngami Times (2001. ‘yMaun Airport is also regarded as the second busiest international in Africa in terms of aircraft movements after the combined Johannesburg area (South Africa) airports of Johannesburg International. it is also important in that it has made it possible for Ngamiland to be easily connected to the rest of the country. norms and identities of the local people. p. Some of the impacts mentioned include crime. Although the road network in northern Botswana is an important factor in the development of tourism in the Okavango. Northern Botswana was prior to the 1990s. While infrastructure development such as roads is an important socio-economic development to the Okavango region.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 455 (i) The road network in northern Botswana. Infrastructure development such as the construction of tarred roads to facilitate the tourism industry in the Okavango and Chobe regions in northern Botswana became one of the major government pre-occupation. it is easier for tourist to drive from South Africa passing through Francistown to visit the Okavango Delta and the Victoria Falls. The situation gradually changed in the 1990s as government began to realize that tourism in northwestern Botswana has the potential of significantly contributing to the economy of the country. hence it can be noted that tourism is not only carrying positive developments in the area. but also has negative aspects. Based on aircraft movement data from the Maun International Airport for 2000. tarred roads were virtually non-existent. Harare. The total tarred road network in northern Botswana is over 2500 km. most of the supplies for the wholesale and retail sectors are provided through this link (most of the tourism supplies in the delta are provided from Maun). Lanseria. prostitution and the western influence on local language and dress especially on young people. (1995) note that socio-cultural impacts of tourism in destination areas are associated with changes in traditional ideas and values. The development of infrastructure to promote tourism in the Okavango Delta is also in the form of airports. The Francistown–Kasane road is important in that it provides a link between Botswana’s Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. the airport has an average of 256 aircrafts landing and taking off each day during the tourist peak . Glasson et al. Rand and Grand Central’. This road provides a link between north-western Botswana and northern Namibia. The Maun–Mohembo road covers about 500 km and was completed in 1995.

including permanent lodges. As already noted. At present. The improvement of air transport in Maun has also been of benefit to the majority of the people in Ngamiland District since social services are now provided quicker to them than it was before the 1990s. The establishment of tourist accommodation facilities is further explained by the BTDP (1999) which states that there are presently around 4000 bed places available in hotels. MBAIWA Table 5. therefore. This means that tourism provides a boost for local manufacturing and industry. The growth of the tourism industry in the Okavango Delta has resulted in the establishment of several tourism-associated businesses in Ngamiland District. Accommodation facilities are. Domestic aircraft made 86?1% of the total movements.9% of the total movements. As shown in Table 5 a total of 40. international movements made only 7. The high numbers of aircraft movements indicate the role that the airport is playing in the facilitation of tourism in the Okavango Delta. E. lodges and safari camps offer food and beverages to tourists. lodges and safari camps in the Okavango and other parts of Ngamiland District especially in Maun. In addition to accommodation. the production of food.666 2786 40. the figure is reduced to an average of 152 aircraft landing and taking off each day. and campsites in tourist areas of Botswana of which the majority are in the Okavango and Maun region.7% of the rooms from 1996 to 2001. lodges.0% while non-commercial aircraft make 6.456 J. This represents an increase of 46. In the non-tourist peak seasons of November to March. mobile campsites.246 Percentage 7?0 86?1 6?9 100?0 seasons of April to October.246 aircraft movement were recorded at Maun Airport in 2000. equipment. as well as agriculture. The growth of tourism in the Okavango Delta is directly associated with the proliferation of hotels. safari camps. observation hides and educational camp grounds. 1992). 2000 Description Commercial International Domestic Non-commercial Totals Source: DCA (2001). Findings in this study indicate that there are about 60 photographic lodges and camps in the Okavango region with about 554 rooms and 1018 bed spaces. furniture as well as construction is usually necessary in host regions (Dickman. the hotels. Most of the aircraft movements were domestic flights made by small engine aircraft that fly into the delta either transporting tourists or carry supplies or returning to Maun from the delta for parking. Total movements 2846 34. playing a major role in the socio-economic development of Ngamiland District and of Botswana as a whole. non-permanent lodges. (iii) Hotels and safari camps in Maun and Okavango Delta. It is in these accommodation facilities where most people in the Okavango Delta are employed. Impacts on rural development In order to meet the needs of tourists. accommodation facilities are important to Botswana’s economy because of the significant amount of revenue they generate and the number of people they employ. . there are about eight privately owned air companies operating about 44 small aircraft in the Okavango Delta and using Maun Airport as a base. These bed places are provided in a range of accommodation. Aircraft Movement at Maun International Airport.

Maun has three commercial banks. In addition to this problem. Other services that are provided in the region include post offices which are also equipped with modern facilities to meet the demands of tourist clients. petrol-filling stations and beverages in bars and bottle stores. For example. South Africa (e. However. Chain shops and supermarkets such as Spar. energy and food products used in the tourism industry in the Okavango Delta is obtained outside the region and country. Poultry production. especially eggs and meat are also imported either from eastern Botswana or outside the country. The banks are international and are equipped with modern facilities and services to enable tourists obtain the necessary assistance they require on financial transactions while in the country. The reliance of the tourism industry in the Okavango Delta from products produced outside the Okavango region especially from South Africa. while these services are important for the promotion of the tourist sector in the region. tourism has been able to influence the established social facilities such as international banks in Maun. they have also encouraged local development in Ngamiland District and are of significant benefit to the people of the region as well. most of the craft products are either obtained from Zimbabwe (e. petroleum products used as the main source of energy in the Okavango are imported in refined form mainly through South Africa. This also applies to furniture shops and other related trade centres established in Maun which also obtained their products from South Africa or Zimbabwe. Shoprite and Score have also been established in Maun after the 1990s to provide food suppliers to tourist camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta. The craft industry is also not fully developed. Maun is perceived to be a tourist centre where most of the tourist offices for tourists facilities in the delta are located and that tourist supplies for these facilities are obtained. equipments. These findings indicate that the development of tourism in the Okavango Delta has been unable to influence agricultural production and the manufacturing sectors. the small villages in and around the Okavango Delta remain relatively remote characterized by the absence of social facilities which are only found in Maun. clothing) or from other parts of Botswana such as Ghanzi and Serowe (e. spare parts. Dairy products used in the Okavango region are also imported from either Namibia or South Africa. Interviews with managers of supermarkets and chain shops in Maun indicate that most of the food supplies especially perishables such as vegetables are either obtained from eastern Botswana in the Tuli Block or are imported from South Africa.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 457 especially in Maun. therefore. While most materials. However. namely Standard Chartered Bank. Based on these results. bushmen craft). hence cannot sustain itself without outside economic influence. About 83?6% of the households and 68?6% of the tourism-related businesses in Maun acknowledge that most of the socio-economic facilities and infrastructure development in Maun and Ngamiland are a direct result of the influence the region gets from tourism. Maun is also the main departure centre for tourists who visit the Okavango Delta. it has. The wholesale and retail trade in Maun provides a variety of services to tourists and the people of Ngamiland District. apart from baskets.g. This includes various types of foods in restaurants.g. wood cravings). Zimbabwe and Namibia indicates that it has not yet become economically efficient. To these respondents.g. been necessary for government to ensure the provision of social facilities and improve infrastructure development in Ngamiland District. . spare parts in garages. Maun is also connected to the national electric grid for the provision of power and the telecommunication systems has improved in the last decade. most of the products are imported from outside Botswana especially from South Africa and Zimbabwe. A factor that has resulted in the industry depending on products produced elsewhere in the country or outside Botswana. Barclays Bank and the First National Bank.

A local resident may also suffer a loss of sense of place. The fact the tourism industry is pre-dominantly foreign owned and controlled indicates that there is no equal access to the use of resources and decisionTable 6. interviews of the Tawana Land Board officials indicate that in a total of 15 concession areas under its custody in the Okavango Delta. MBAIWA The socio-economic problems of tourism One of the major problems with the growth of tourism in the Okavango Delta has been the development of a type of tourism referred to in recent literature as ‘enclave tourism’ (Britton. 1983. Glasson et al. E. & Ceballos-Lascurain. Interviews with the local people in Ngamiland indicate that there is a general assumption that the delta has been taken from them by government and given to foreign tour operators. six (40?0%) to jointly owned companies (between citizens and noncitizens) and five (33?3%) to non-citizen companies. 1999). 36 (35?0%) are jointly owned (between Botswana and non-citizens) while 51 (49?5%) are non-citizens owned. As a result.7% of them while only 18. This means 73?3% of the noncitizen companies operate in 11 concession areas (this excludes those controlled by the central government and are also leased out to operators). four (26?7%) are leased to citizen companies. A study by Ndubano (2000) also showed that about 95% of the accommodation and transport sectors in Maun have foreign involvement. lodges and camps that are also foreign owned and controlled. Ownership of tourist facilities in Maun and in the Okavango Delta Ownership Frequency and percentages Safari companies Tourism business 5 (14?3%) 8 (22?9%) 22 (62?9%) 35 (100?0%) Totals Citizen owned Jointly owned Non-citizen owned Totals 7 (23?3%) 10 (33?3%) 13 (43?3%) 30 (100?0%) 12 (18?5%) 18 (27?7%) 35 (53?8%) 65 (100?0%) . further note that the loss of local autonomy is certainly the most negative long-term effect of tourism. However. This suggests that 87 (84?5%) of the tourism-related companies registered in Maun and operational in the Okavango region have direct foreign involvement. with 60% of them being 100% foreign owned. data from the licensing office in the Department of Tourism indicate that in 2000 out of 103 tourism-related business registered in Maun and operational in Maun and in the delta. the type of tourism that has so far developed is characterized by tourist facilities such as hotels.5% of the tourist facilities in Maun and in the Okavango Delta has foreign influence in which 53. 35% of them are jointly owned between locals and expatriates. (1995) note that the dominance of the industry by foreign investors and the non-local investment can reduce control over local resources. Glasson et al. only 1% is 100% locally owned. as his/her surrounding is transformed to accommodate the requirements of a foreign-dominated tourism industry. 1991). Such tourist facilities are characterized by foreign ownership and are designed to meet the needs and interests of foreign tourists.8% are 100% foreign owned. 16 (15?5%) are citizen owned. Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) defines enclave tourism as tourism that is concentrated in remote areas in which the types of facilities and their physical location fail to take into consideration the needs and wishes of surrounding communities. In the Okavango Delta. Related to the issue of ownership of tourism facilities. 1996) or internal colonialism (Drakakis-Smith & Williams.458 J.5% are 100% owned by citizens. Dixon & Hefferman. citizens view the approach negatively because they perceive the domination by non-citizens as ‘selling out’ of their resources (Mbaiwa. That findings in Table 6 show that 81. Citizens and expatriates jointly own about 27. 1981.

g. the Tourism Policy was implemented through targeted marketing and imposition of high fees for the use of public facilities. This strategy was adopted to raise the needed revenue for the industry to sustain itself. The exclusive nature of tourism in the Okavango Delta has tended not to be of direct benefit to the people of Ngamiland District.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 459 making between the local people and the tour operators. since bookings is mostly done outside Botswana . from 1990. However. Butler (1980).6% of workers in tourism-related industries in Maun. It should provide for local participation in decision-making and the employment of local people in order to make it sustainable. As a result. made it possible for a lot of money that is paid for tours by visitors to never arrive in the Okavango or Botswana. on average. The suspicions and mistrusts between the local communities and tour operators in the Okavango Delta have since developed into another problem of racism between the two groups. hence the assumption that management positions in the tourism industry are reserved for expatriate workers. therefore. Wildlife and Tourism. As Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) notes. mostly use the Okavango Delta. however. working long hours without compensations. This accusations were. such prices become unaffordable to the majority of the local people. (1995) and Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) note that tourism should be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the host population. Rich foreign tourists from North America and Western Europe. while 91?9% of the visitors are non-citizen tourists (DWNP. The policy emphasizes the promotion of high-cost–low-volume tourism. Racism was explained to be characterized by failure on the side of tour operators to employ local people in top management positions. there has been a shift from encouraging casual tourist campers in favour of tourist who occupy permanent accommodation. This is shown by a low figure of 8?1% of the citizens who managed to visit Moremi Game Reserve in 1999. Prosser (1994) and Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) note that resentment. Racism in the tourism industry between the local black population and white tour operators was confirmed to be in existence by 53?3% of the managers and 73?1% of workers in safari camps and lodges in the delta and 60. it can also be argued that the low level of Botswana’s economic development.0% of the managers and 47. In the Okavango Delta. therefore. 2002). poor accommodation in camps. Glasson et al. enclave tourism is characterized by high prices charged in tourist facilities and services. 2000). The development of enclave tourism in the Okavango Delta is a result of the pursuance of Botswana’s Tourism Policy of 1990. a great deal of capital needed for tourism development and high levels of management in the tourism sector also contribute to tourism in the Okavango Delta being under the control of foreign investors. antagonisms and alienation often emerge between the host communities and the foreign tourism investors if efforts are not made to include local communities in the tourism business. confirmed to be true by the Department of Labour. As a result. These charges make the Okavango Delta a very expensive resort area for locals to visit. The policy also presumed that low volumes of tourists are more consistent with the need to protect the environmental basis of the industry. a tourist is expected to pay 400 United States Dollars as accommodation charge per night in a tourist camp or lodge. A 1-h flight in the Okavango Delta costs on average about 220 US $ (Mbaiwa. unfair dismissal of local workers and the use of abusive language often used by employers towards local workers). This is not in line with sustainable development since the concept presupposes equal access and opportunities to all user groups. Racism was also explained to be characterized by the unpleasant working conditions for local workers in the delta (e. High-spending tourists have as a result been encouraged to visit the Okavango Delta while low-budget tourists are indirectly being discouraged by the high fees charged. The facilities are operated with minimum commercial trading including local agriculture and social links with existing local communities. This situation has. the Ngamiland District council and by the Minister of Trade.

state that tourism is. Most tourism development places additional pressure on the environmental resources upon which it is based. Cater (1991) notes that in situations where headquarters of multinational tourism companies are in the developed world. (1995). by its very nature. or allowed to expand within short-term goals and objectives. The high numbers of tourists in the Okavango Delta create problems of efficient monitoring of tourist activities by government officials especially from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and Department of Tourism. a large proportion of this money is used to pay for imported food. As a result of enclave tourism. compromising the future prospects of the local population and. If mismanaged.460 J. but also to decision-making in natural resource management and conservation. taxes and other activities. wages. E. 1991). tourism can kill tourism. Carter (1991) notes that the concept of sustainable development is thus important to tourism development since the destruction of tourism resources for the short-term gain will deny the benefits to be gained from mobilization of those resources in the future. regulated or directed. Some of the impacts of change may be controlled. Of this gross expenditure. Prosser (1994). it has the capability of destroying the very resources upon which it is built. has low visitor impact and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations. indeed. Environmental impacts According to Butler (1980). 1999). 55% (P605 million) was spent outside Botswana and a further P175 million was first-round linkages of receipts due to tourist-related imports. destroying the very environmental attractions which visitors come to a location to experience. 1998. The BTDP (1999) estimates that tourists spent P1. Some of the negative environmental impacts identified include the following: (i) creation of illegal roads in protected areas. Mbaiwa. America or Europe). any foreign currency generated may have only a minimal effect upon the economy of host nations as it is transferred to home regions. where resource integrity is maintained or even enhanced. Glasson et al.1 billion in 1997. Enclave tourism can be described as the direct opposite of eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is explained by Ceballos-Lascurain (1996. Based on secondary data and through observations and informal interviews with key players. an agent of change. tourism has the potential of being a renewable industry. Even if a tourist pays a local tour operator in Botswana for a safari tour to the Okavango. the development of tourism in the Okavango Delta was found to have negative environmental impacts to the wetland (these impacts were found to be at a small scale). wishes and participation of the local communities. Britton (1991) estimates that these leakages to be of the order of 55–60% of the inclusive tour retail price paid by tourists in their home countries if foreign airline is used. This scenario is explained by CeballosLascurain (1996). p. equipment and expatriate staff (Silitshena & McLeod. tourism contains the seeds of its own destruction. the local people in the Okavango Delta are being economically and politically marginalized with respect not only to access to natural resources or tourism. This appears to be the case with the development of tourism in the Okavango Delta and in Botswana as much of the tourist revenue is not retained in Ngamiland or in Botswana. This has resulted in the creation of illegal roads by . there is considerable reduction in the net tourism receipts in Third World economies. which is environmentally friendly and takes into account the needs. MBAIWA (either in Johannesburg. Only 29% (P320 million) was spent in Botswana on local goods. who states that in enclave tourism. Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) and Glasson et al. 20) as a type of tourism that promotes conservation. the expectations of tourists themselves (Carter. If properly managed.

DOT (2000). research and filming vehicles. The influx of tour operators in the delta has simultaneously led to an increase in the number of small engine airplanes and establishment of airstrips in the delta. nesting birds and other wildlife species in the delta. this excludes those owned by the Botswana Defence Force. hence they are a source of noise pollution which alarm the animal and bird life. Airstrips have a number of small engine aircraft landing and taking off time and again. However. The Department of Tourism. The presence of too many aircrafts in the Okavango Delta which in most cases fly at very low altitude cause a disturbance to the wild animals and nesting birds. Roodt (1998) states that a total of 32 power boats of which 26 belong to . The concentration of camps and lodges with a small radius indicates failure by government to diverse a proper management plan for tourism development in which the radius between each facility is determined based on ecological impacts of such facilities in the Okavango Delta.’’ Apart from the overutilization and creation of illegal roads by tourist vehicles in the Xakanaxa area. Noise pollution from engine boats. the islands in the fringes of the Xakanaxa lagoon were favourite nesting spots but today only a few birds nest in the lagoon area. In addition to the problem of crowded airstrips in the Okavango Delta. small engine aircrafts. they are also a source of noise pollution and a disturbance to the wildlife of the area. The noise is disturbing to hippo populations. government has seven airstrips in the area. The DOT also notes that the concentration of tourist facilities in the western part of the Xakanaxa triangle means that the various categories of tourist outlined before are mostly concentrated in a narrow street of the reserve between Xakanaxa and Third Bridge. There are about 23 privately owned airfields in and around the Okavango Delta registered with the Department of Civil Aviation. Noise pollution by small engine aircraft is also related to that caused by engine boats in the area. However. the number might be more if other additional vehicles are taken into consideration. Interviews with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in Maun indicate that some of the airstrips in the Okavango Delta are crowded and did not necessarily warranted their construction. states that overutilization of certain zones in conserved areas occur when such zones are used by all the tourist groups particularly in high tourism seasons. The creation of many illegal roads and trails also indicates failure by government to implement the country’s rules and regulations in controlling tourist traffic and numbers in environmental sensitive and protected areas.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 461 tourist vehicles in some environmental sensitive areas such as the Xakanaxa. Roodt (1998) states that there are 178 tourist vehicles that use the Xakanaxa area every day in the tourist peak season. She states in page 6 ‘‘The actual number is closer to 250 or more vehicles per day during the busy seasony I have personally counted 63 vehicles in the Xakanaxa camping sitey. official vehicles. road vehicles and tourists is also a problem in the Okavango Delta. Roodt further states that the increase in boat traffic in the Gedikwe/Xhobega area has already shown a decreasing effect on the numbers of nesting sites over the last 7 years. Roodt (1998) notes that 10 years ago when there were fewer boats in the Xakanaxa area. the DCA notes that the problem was created by the zonation of the delta into concession areas which were each allocated to different concessionaires who prefer separate and individual airstrips than on sharing with neighbours. it has already been noted that there are roughly eight privately owned air companies with a total of 44 small engine aircraft operating in the Okavango Delta. In addition to the 23 privately owned airstrips in and around the Okavango Delta. The creation of illegal roads is exacerbated by the fact that tourist camps and lodges are generally concentrated within small areas in various parts of the delta. Aircraft are used to carry supplies and tourists on guided tours around the delta. This includes supply trucks. The creation of illegal roads affects vegetation and reduces the scenic beauty of the Okavango. The DOT further notes that this occur in the Xakanaxa area in Moremi Game Reserve. (ii) Noise pollution.

have already moved out in to the Xanaxanaxa lagoon. 2000). This. noise pollution by motor boats and by people can disturb waterfowl. The high volume of tourists visiting the Okavango Delta has reached levels where the amount of garbage generated has increased and is beginning to negatively impact on the delta environment (Masundire et al. The proliferation of tourist camps in the Okavango Delta. The crowding of tourist facilities and the noise pollution generated in these areas suggest that Okavango Delta is likely to be environmentally degraded in the near future if measures are not taken to address the problem. pieces of paper. There is an estimated 111 engine boats owned by the various tour operators in the area (NRP. (1994) state that many tourist camps in the Okavango Delta rely on borehole water to supply camp needs. 2001). The water table in the Okavango Delta is high and the soils are sandy with a high permeability. The fast movement of engine boats creates waves which disturb nesting birds. and occupying these sites with many people than permitted thus exceeding carrying capacities and design capabilities of ablution blocks. 1998. discharge of effluent into ground-water is unavoidable. Septic tanks for human waste are not constructed following any environmental standards. Gall (1995) notes that waterfowls in the Okavango Panhandle are not only disturbed by the wakes and noise from motor boats but also by the frequency of other more general boating and tourism-related activities. cans and bottles are a common sight along the roads and on campsites in the Okavango Delta. engine boats are also causing noise pollution (NRP. that is. According to McCarthy et al. The DOT (2000) states that the large number of tourism enterprises licenses that have been issued for mobile safari operators results in most of the mobile operators sites permanently occupied and solidly booked. According to Matthews (1982) and NRP (2001). NRP (2000) states that bluegreen algae (Microcystis sp. The problem of waste is characterized by failure to dispose domestic waste following proper waste-disposal procedures in tourist camps. in the upper parts. MBAIWA safari operators and six to government officials are currently licensed to use the Xakanaxa area. This has led to mobile operators spilling over to public campsites. Pollutants can thus travel much greater distances into the soils. (1994). the water table in the Okavango Delta is usually less than 1 m below the surface during flood seasons.462 J. negatively impacts the sanitation systems and the environment in the area. is likely to increase the potential for ground-water pollution. 2001). mammals and reptiles which live in water. The breaking of eggs by birds as noise disturbs them means the species decline in numbers in the long run. This situation creates the potential for contamination of drinking water supplies. The report further notes that the potential for ground-water contamination with nitrate from septic tank drainage in areas where . E. The problem of noise pollution in the Okavango Delta also shows poor planning or failure to implement existing management plans by the government. DOT. each with its septic tank for wastewater collection. leading to higher infantile death rates in sensitive populations. The boat traffic in the area amounts to 15 – 20 boats that passes a day in most parts of the river. as a result. therefore. and these can be toxic under bloom conditions.) have been recorded in the Okavango system. (iii) Impacts on the sanitation system and water resources. While impacts of boats at Xakanaxa show the effects of tourism in the lower parts of the Okavango Delta. 2001). which were in large numbers 7 years ago. Crocodiles and hippos seek undisturbed areas and the presence of too many engine boats in the Okavango Delta disturbs these species. Roodt (1998) states that hippos. However. in the panhandle. The disturbance of the animal habitats negatively impacts on the wildlife numbers of the delta. and moreover discharge waste and sewage effluent into the ground-water. Littering especially plastic bags. and in some camps such tanks do not exist except for the ‘pit latrines’. For example. McCarthy et al.. the fishermen in the panhandle area note that boat noise is disturbing fish at nesting sites (NRP.

1993). This situation has resulted in lack of a meaningful involvement and participation of the local people in the tourism business. While this is the case. This scenario suggests that water pollution might be possible in areas around tourist camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta. The demarcation of the Okavango Delta into Wildlife Management Areas and Controlled Hunting Areas done to facilitate the development of the tourism industry in 1989 was carried out without consultation with the local people. This is because local people lack the necessary entrepreneurship and management skills to participate in the tourism business in the area. However. the approach is problematic and is performing poorly (Mbaiwa. Therefore. As noted earlier. material and labour in order for local people to . While there are attempts to make local communities derive benefits through community-based tourism.. 1999. As a result. tourism has been unable to promote agricultural production. The aim is to ensure equity in the distribution of costs. 1994). as already noted is hinged on three main concerns. these are: social equity. Much of the land and its natural resources such as wildlife that are the main tourists attraction are controlled and owned by either the private tour operators or by the government. Eco-tourism advocates for a locally controlled tourism industry to ensure benefits to the local people and the sustainable use of resources (CeballosLascurain. This. therefore. hence the land-use conflicts between the local people and the wildlife and tourist industries in Ngamiland District (Mbaiwa. Consultation and empowerment of the local people are major components that can facilitate the sustainability of tourism in the Okavango Delta. 2000). 1996). this study has shown that the local communities in Ngamiland District have limited access and control over tourism resources in the Okavango Delta. economic efficiency aims at the optimal use of natural resources to meet human needs or to maximize human welfare within the constraints of existing capital (Serageldin. design and implementation of tourism programmes. most of the goods used in the industry are either imported from South Africa or Zimbabwe or are obtained from other parts of Botswana. suggests that strategies should be developed with emphasis on ways that will increase local participation and enhance the use of local knowledge. Major decisions and policy issues in relation to the development of tourism are taken without the full participation of the local communities. Summary and conclusion This study has demonstrated that tourism in the Okavango Delta is still at its early stage of development. Contrary to this viewpoint. economic efficiency and ecological sustainability (Angelson et al. Sustainability. rather than to the local communities on which tourism resources are located. and contamination by faecal bacteria and possibly viable pathogens could occur if septic tanks are situated in areas where ground-water is at 1 m or less beneath the surface. 2000). This study has shown that tourism in the Okavango Delta has influenced the development of infrastructure and the provision of social facilities in Ngamiland District. issues of sustainability are not given much consideration. This assumption is believed to have the potential of eradicating poverty on the poor communities. Social equity advocates for the fairness and equal access to resources by all the user groups. if tourism in the Okavango Delta is to be sustainable. This study has also shown that in terms of revenue generated from tourism.SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 463 ground-water is close to the surface (10 m or less). decisionmaking and management. much of it accrue to the private tour operators and to a limited extent to government in the form of tax revenues. it should take into consideration the participation of the local communities in the planning. 1999. the craft and manufacturing industries. benefits.

2000). This can be possible through the implementation of existing management plans and efforts being made to come up with a comprehensive land use and integrated management plan for the Okavango Delta. This means that local communities can benefit from the booming tourist industry in the Okavango Delta if they engage in small-scale and simple projects that match their capabilities and require local skills and knowledge. 1980. This has resulted in tourists and tourist activities having negative environmental impacts such as the creation of illegal roads and noise pollution. economically and environmentally sustainable. This management plan should be designed such that the use of tourism resources in the Okavango Delta benefits the present generations while at the same time not jeopardizing chances of future generations to benefit from the same resources. These impacts suggest that carrying capacities of tourism infrastructure and of tourists as well as their activities should be controlled to avoid the environmental degradation of the wetland. efforts should be directed towards advising local communities to come up with tourist projects that use locally available knowledge. can have a significant impact on raising living standards of the local people. issues of local empowerment especially the provision of entrepreneurship skills and the control of tourism resources in the Okavango Delta need to be given priority. Carter. While lack of skills amongst the local people to manage large-scale tourism businesses remains a problem. In coming up with such a policy all stakeholders especially local people should be involved in policy formulation. Ecological sustainability stress that the use of renewable natural resources should not be faster than the rate at which the natural process renews them (Serageldin. curio shops. cultural tourist activities that may involve provision of traditional accommodation. Prosser. skills and materials. paying careful attention to the environmental component. once the resources are depleted. E. Ecological sustainability stresses the need to preserve the integrity of ecological subsystems viewed as critical for the overall stability of the global ecosystem. thus carrying capacity levels are often exceeded by tourist activities in some areas (DOT. This suggests that as tourism development proceeds.464 J. hence can be described as enclave tourism or internal colonialism. community tour operations. 1994). There are socio-economic and environmental problems associated with enclave tourism. Prosser. indigenous firms and locals gain knowledge and experience in the tourism business. The tourism industry in the Okavango Delta is such that it is predominately foreign owned. An integrated land-use policy should therefore ensure that the carrying capacity levels of tourist activities are not exceeded. 1991. Ecological sustainability thus becomes vital to avoid the negative environmental impacts of tourism in destination areas such as the Okavango Delta. These projects can include leatherworks. locally controlled. campsites. As mentioned earlier. . Britton & Clarke (1987) note that small-scale projects. Carter also notes that government planners should co-ordinate investment infrastructure with the needs of small-scale entrepreneurs and the needs of local communities. This approach if adopted has the potential of making tourism development in the Okavango Delta socially. The establishment of tourist infrastructure such as camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta is such that they are crowded in specific areas. implementation and monitoring for it to be effective and to ensure the sustainability of tourism in the Okavango Delta. traditional dishes. walking and boat (mokoro) safaris. 1980. music. Carter (1991) states that large-scale tourism development is often the precursor to small-scale development. As the Okavango Delta does not have an integrated management plan. This includes a tendency by operators to desire to maximize profit within a short period of time even at an environmental cost (Butler. 1994). tour operators and tourist usually re-locate elsewhere where there is a tourism boom and the cycle starts all over again (Butler. MBAIWA obtain meaningful benefits from the tourism business. 1993). However. dances.

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