The impact of HIV/AIDS on the socio-economic environment in Botswana with special reference to tourism
Purpose: Botswana is one of the countries with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world. This research aims to investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the socio-economic environment in Botswana with special reference to the country’s tourism sector. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of Botswana. It creates employment, earns foreign exchange, markets Botswana internationally, attracts foreign investments and contributes to Gross Domestic Products (GDP).Methodology: This report explains the HIV/AIDS situation and policy framework relative to the tourism sector in Botswana and in selected African countries through conducting an extensive literature review and empirical surveys. This is a quantitative research in which non-probability method is used to indentify the respondents. Here tourism general managers are identified and asked to identify their subordinates who are available and willing to participate in the survey by answering a self-administered questionnaire.Findings: This study indicates that HIV/AIDS threatens the Botswana tourism and the viability of the socio-economic factors. In general, the Southern African region is experiencing the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. The infection rate is particularly high among the young people (aged 15 – 49). This age group constitutes people who are economically active, and a number of them work directly or indirectly in the tourism sector. HIV/AIDS kills the economically active population – people who hold the skills, do the work, pay taxes, raise children, vote in the elections, and provide leadership. HIV/AIDS results in increased mortality and morbidity rates, and it also results in increased health expenditure. It also results in increased poverty level in the country.Practical implications: When observing the prevalence and impact of HIV/AIDS not only in the tourism sector but in general, it becomes evident that the fight against the disease should be a collaborative approach involving various sectors including tourism. Relying only on government and health sector to address the complex and systematic impact of HIV/AIDS cannot effectively combat the disease and its prevalence rate.Originality/value: This report analyses HIV/AIDS situation in Botswana in a creative way, contributing to the understanding of its impacts on the socio-economic environment as well as identifying strategies that can be used in addressing the impacts. This research is important for public policy makers, government officials, and tourism role-players to be aware of implications HIV/AIDS has on the socio-economic environment and take them into consideration in the policy formulation and implementation, business strategies and processes. It is also imperative to academics who would like to expand their knowledge on HIV/AIDS.