Botswana plans to slowly reopen borders in effort to restart tourism industry

Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana's president, speaks during an interview in Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday, May 14, 2018. Botswana is the worlds biggest diamond producer after Russia, and most of its gems are mined by Debswana, a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Wednesday expressed hope that the reopening of the southern African country’s borders to international travelers will revitalize its tourism industry.

Masisi made the remarks on the occasion of the ongoing annual De Beers Diamond Impact Week, held virtually this year due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Masisi says the diamond industry and the tourism sector have a close relationship in their respective contribution to Botswana’s development agenda, as both sectors are among the top contributors to the country’s gross domestic product.

However, the two sectors have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am grateful that Botswana is slowly opening up its borders for international travelers, which I believe will resuscitate the tourism industry,” said Masisi when encouraging the participants to continue visits to Botswana to support its tourism.

Statistics of the last two quarters released by De Beers Group, the world’s leading diamond company, clearly showed that diamond sales dropped significantly though the industry players have tried everything within their power to avert a total collapse

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