Employees' Perceptions of Environmental Impacts of Tourism Activities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2018, Pages: 13-21
Received: Aug. 2, 2018;
Accepted: Sep. 11, 2018;
Published: Oct. 26, 2018
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Owen Musora, Okavango Research Institute (ORI), University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana
Joseph Mbaiwa, Okavango Research Institute (ORI), University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana
Tourism is second largest economic activity to mining in Botswana. Botswana tourism is wildlife based and is dependent heavily on water resources. Tourists are attracted by the ecological scenic beauty and wildlife based activities which include camping, game drive, photographing, boating among others mainly in the northern Botswana (Chobe and Okavango Delta). Tourism accommodation facilities are increasing rapidly to cope with the increase in wildlife tourism in the Okavango Delta. Tourism development in contrast erodes the natural environment which it depends on. This paper describes employees’ perceptions of environmental impacts of tourism activities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Sustainable tourism with emphasis on environmental sustainability forms the theoretical framework of this paper. Data were collected using both primary (employees and key informants interviews) and secondary (intensive review of journals, reports and government publication) data sources. Results indicated that 56.4% (54) agreed of which 26.2% (22) strongly agreed that tourism activities are causing environmental impacts in the Okavango Delta. Perceived environmental impacts include pollution (land, water, noise and air), creation of illegal roads and disturbance of plant and animal species by tourism activities. Tourism vehicles especially for game drive are increasing rapidly in the Okavango Delta. This includes tourism private cars, mobile safaris, suppliers of goods and services to accommodation facilities and researchers. Factors resulting in environmental degradation are linked to poor policy implementation by both tourism operators and government officials. Poor monitoring and implementation of environmental policies, plans and laws together with authority manpower, equipment and vehicle shortages propagates environmental impacts in the Okavango Delta. Despite the perceived environmental impact the Okavango Delta is pristine and has rejuvenating properties. This paper suggests that the respective authorities should reinforce, monitor and implement environmental strategies, policies and regulations in collaboration with tourism stakeholders with the aim of sustainable tourism development in the Okavango Delta.
Employees' Perceptions of Environmental Impacts of Tourism Activities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
Vol. 2, No. 1,
2018, pp. 13-21.
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