The dynamics of tourist visitation to national parks and game reserves in Botswana
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Despite the existence of a model of the life cycle of tourist destinations (Butler, 1980, adapted by Prossor, 1994), non-beach tourist destinations are seldom subjected to an appraisal of their evolution and an assessment of the developmental stage or phase the particular destination may be in. In this paper we explore the dynamics of tourist visitation to national parks and game reserves in Botswana over a period of ten years (1995-2004. We have used data on tourists collected by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) staff at national park and game reserve gates, which they summarize on a monthly basis and forward to the Parks and Reserves Reservation Office (PARRO). We conclude that the development of tourism in the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve follow Butler’s model and show signs of stagnation. Based on the findings of the paper, a recommendation to review the Botswana Tourism Master Plan (2000) is suggested in order to align it with realistic tourism trends of the national parks and game reserves.
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