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Keywords:

  • Cultural commodification;
  • cultural tourism;
  • ancestor spirits;
  • Goo-Moremi Village;
  • Goo-Moremi Gorge;
  • Botswana

ABSTRACT

Botswana is promoting cultural tourism to diversify the country's nature-based tourism industry, to increase citizen participation in tourism development; and, improve rural livelihoods. The objective of this paper is to analyse tourism and cultural commodification at Goo-Moremi Village, Central Botswana, an emerging destination for cultural tourism. Conceptually, the study is informed by the debates around cultural commodification. Using both primary and secondary data sources, culture at Goo-Moremi Village and Gorge is considered sacred as ancestor worship controls the day-to-day lives of people. Ambivalence, tensions and local resistance emerge in the process of commodifying culture at Goo-Moremi village. Some local people embrace the commodification of their culture into a tourism product because of anticipated socio-economic benefits whereas others resist cultural commodification as a result of fears that it may devalue their culture and belief system.