Home Institution

College of William and Mary

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Botswana: Ecology and Conservation

Abstract

Botswana has seen tremendous growth in its tourism industry since its real inception the 1980s. Unfortunately, the tourism sector has almost solely focused on photographic and hunting safaris at the expense of cultural tourism. Because there is potential for rural development through effective cultural tourism, this study aimed to look at the case of one such rural community and their venture into cultural tourism. The Sexaxa community and their Cultural Village was studied to understand multiple facets of the issue. The history of the Bayei tribe, the history of the cultural village, how much the cultural village reflects the modern village, and what the challenges and successes have been in the formation of the cultural village were examined. The study also sought to discover what tourists were looking for in cultural tourism and what safari companies were offering. It was found that the most tourists do not think they want something like a cultural village and few safari companies support it. Yet, the cultural village itself seems to have made a positive impact both on its visitors and on the community. There is still untapped potential in the Sexaxa village at large in terms of support as volunteers and craftspeople, if there can be effective training in place. Many of the skills shown in the cultural village were found to take place in modern Sexaxa, though a few traditions and skills are starting to be lost. It is with this knowledge that this study suggests that Sexaxa consider carefully which parts of its culture it feels it needs to preserve and make a conscious effort to do so since the cultural village is already an effective framework for preservation.

Disciplines

Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Tourism

 

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