Bringing heritage management and tourism in Botswana under the spot light: notes from Lekhubu Island
PublisherUniversity of Botswana; www.ub.bw
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This paper presents notes from qualitative study carried out in Mmatshumu and Lekhubu Island during the first half of 2012. The study utilized long interviews, focus group discussions, observations and informal interactions with different stakeholders including ordinary members of the community, civic and tribal leaders as well as members of the technical Advisory Committee. In a country where heritage and monuments sites are generally “free access”, the investigation here centers on efforts aimed at managing Lekhubu as a tourist destination. While findings note some successes such as the creation of relevant institutions and paid access modalities, they also reveal some interesting “talking points” concerning heritage management and tourism development. Among others, the paper notes lack of communication between stakeholders on the ground and those based away from the site; poor information sharing between previous and current board; inconsistencies between nature of development at the site as well as government policy. In the end, this paper argues for more robust training and mobilization to ensure sustainable utilization of heritage resources designated for tourism development. It accepts that without deliberate efforts to balance the interests of heritage and those of tourism development, the results may be unpleasant for both.
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