South Africans and Zimbabweans accounted to a large number of travellers coming to Botswana in 2013—a year in which there was a decline in tourists arrival. According to tourism statistics annual report 2013 released by Statistics Botswana, the diamond rich country received a total of 2,598,158 arrivals in 2013, which was a decline of 1.0 percent (14, 397) from the 2012 figure of 2,612,555 arrivals.
“Zimbabweans continue to dominate in the number of arrivals, having accounted for 31.8 percent (825,717) of 2,598,158,” the belated data showed. “This is followed by South Africans with 742,639 (28.6 percent) while Zambians represented 12.8 percent (331, 799) of total 2013 arrivals into the country.”
The report noted that the African continent accounted for 82.6 percent (2, 144,904) of total arrivals during the year. Arrivals from Europe accounted for 7.1 percent (184, 717) while those from America represented 6.8 percent (175,668) of 2013 total arrivals. Oceania was the continent with the least number of arrivals, accounting for 1.4 percent (35,656).
By virtue of being in the northern part of Botswana, Ramokgwebana Border Post continues to have the highest number of arrivals followed by the Tlokweng Border Post, having recorded 539, 000 and 466, 736 arrivals respectively.
“These two border posts are the busiest land border posts, having contributed 20.7 percent and 18.0 percent respectively, of total arrivals (2,598,158) during the year under review. The Martin’s Drift border post was the third busiest during 2013, having recorded 10.2 percent (265,497) of total arrivals during the year.”
The report noted that most (33.1 percent) of the arrivals into the country were on ‘transit’. This is a significant number compared to the 2012 in-transit arrivals of 16.2 percent (423, 756) of total arrivals. Non-citizens resident in the country (“Returning residents”) were next at 19.4 percent (503, 497).
This was followed by arrivals that came for ‘’Holiday’’, 18.3 percent (474, 455). Arrivals for purpose of “Visiting friends and relatives” contributed 7.1 percent (185,654) of total arrivals in 2013 while 13.7 percent (356,948) came to do “Business”. Employment numbers represent those who are seeking employment during their first entry into the country, they accounted for 0.4 percent (11, 050).
A total of 89.5 percent (2, 324,624) of travellers arrived by road into the country during 2013 while air transport accounted for 10.5 percent (272, 988) of total arrivals. ‘’Other’’ mode of travel comprises travel by rail transport, water transport and those crossing on foot.
Statistics Botswana noted that out of the total of 2, 579, 640 departures during 2013, residents of Africa accounted for 87.5 percent (2, 257, 078). “As most people arriving in the country were residents of Africa, it is likewise expected that the majority of people departing the country would be residents of the African continent,” it explained.
It said non-citizens resident in the country who departed in 2013 accounted for 23.7 percent (611, 098), followed by residents of South Africa at 20.5 percent (529,536) of total departures during the year. Residents of Zambia accounted for 19.2 percent (495, 419) of all departures while that resident in Zimbabwe accounted for 13.8 percent (355, 588) of total departures.
Most departures were by road, 94.3 percent (2,431,705), while air transport accounted for 4.4 percent (113, 958) of 2013 total departures. Rail departures were only 33, 957 representing 1.3 percent of total departures during the year.
Travellers entering and leaving the country are required to complete arrival/departure forms at all gazetted points of entry/departure. This covers all land borders as well as airports.