16% Tourism occupancy rate during 2020

21 January 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The overall occupancy in the tourism hospitality sector last year reached a mere 16.08% of total capacity, compared to 53% in 2019.

The CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Gitta Paetzold, said a benchmark figure of between 42% and 45% occupancy is needed to break even in terms of operational costs to run a tourism business.

“The low 16% clearly shows that despite all good intentions, the Namibian tourism industry is in a very precarious state financially and the continued limitations and restrictions on international and regional travel aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, are virtually strangling the tourism sector.”

She said only time will tell how many of the close to 5 000 registered accommodation establishments, tour operators and car rentals in Namibia will survive this crisis.



Lockdown

Paetzold said during the months of lockdown and closed borders between April and August, Namibian accommodation establishments recorded between 5% and 8% occupancy, mainly due to domestic travel that was possible since May, and the quarantine accommodation imposed on returning residents.

“Then the Tourism Revival Initiative was launched in September with the first international flights coming in from Europe (Eurowings) and Africa (Ethiopian Airways and Airlink/SA), and the influx of travellers saw the occupancy rate for the fourth quarter rise to 18.5% and, as statistics show, a good 17% of the guests were visitors from Europe, while almost 6% came from South Africa during the fourth quarter alone.”

Paetzold said Namibians also made use of the opportunity to travel inside their country and for the first time Namibians constituted over half (53.4%) of the total occupancy. This was followed by visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (17.8%) and South Africans (6.4%).



Resilience

She said to allow for any form of rescue and recovery in tourism going forward, Namibians need to show resilience and commitment to a united, national effort to the Tourism Revival Initiative launched by the government in September.

“What is more, Namibia in general and the tourism industry specifically depends on the influx of foreign currency and income to finance the operations of tourism and rescue the cash-strapped sector.”

She added that HAN, together with all other associations and the Namibia Tourism Board, have worked hard to ensure that the Namibian tourism sector is well versed with extra hygiene measures and tourism protocols that offer the necessary safety and coronavirus preparedness to guests and travellers.

Paetzold said Namibia needs to send out a strong message to the world that the country is eager to welcome travellers and that there should be clear messaging at all levels of correspondence in terms of open borders, travel measures and requirements, and tourism protocols.

Similar News

 

Develop heritage tourism

15 hours ago | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKA national strategy on sustainable heritage tourism development and employment creation opportunities at community level will be launched next week in Windhoek. This will...

New park fees implemented

2 days ago - 13 April 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA new park fee structure, that also includes conservation fees, has been gazetted and came into effect as from 1...

/Ai- /Ais set to reopen on 1 May

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Tourism

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKNamibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) will reopen the /Ai- /Ais Hotsprings and Spa in May after it was closed in January...

Promoting Namibia to West Africa

1 week ago - 06 April 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT SOSSUSVLEIA group of more than 25 Nigerians that included celebrities, destination management...

Tourism groups accuse Hollard of 'going rogue'

3 weeks ago - 24 March 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKTwo prominent tourism groups in Namibia have said that Hollard Namibia's refusal to pay out coronavirus insurance claims is placing the tourism sector and...

Tourists still hesitant to travel

3 weeks ago - 23 March 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKStatistics for February indicate that the country’s tourism performance is still low compared to last year, with a notable...

Third of destinations closed to tourism

1 month - 11 March 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKOne in three tourist destinations worldwide are now closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.According to the latest data released by the World Tourism Organisation...

High-risk classifications concern tourism industry

2 months ago - 02 February 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKGermany has now also added Namibia to the list of high incidence areas for coronavirus cases, declaring it as a...

UK quarantine rules can devastate tourism

2 months ago - 01 February 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe United Kingdom (UK) government has announced a list of 30 high-risk...

Protecting Fort Namutoni's heritage

2 months ago - 22 January 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe National Heritage Council of Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) have agreed to cooperate in maintaining historical sites such as Fort Namutoni in...

Latest News

Credit uptake unresponsive to low...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDespite the repo rate being at a historical low of 3.75% to making borrowing attractive, credit uptake by businesses and households remain weak.Private sector...

GIPF increases pension benefits by...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced a 3% pension benefit increase, effective 01 April 2021 for all GIPF pensioners.In the current volatile economic...

Clearing agents fail Namra test

15 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKLess than 20% of the clearing agents who sat for the mandatory competency test to obtain certification passed the test.There are currently 343 active...

Villagers retaliate by eating locusts

15 hours ago | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIThe arrival of massive swarms of locusts in northern Namibia, especially in the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, has been a...

NamRa

15 hours ago | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKRape accused healthcare worker Dennis Noa will be moved to the Seeis police holding cells outside Windhoek, Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni ordered yesterday at the...

Otjiwarongo Municipality's budget approved

15 hours ago | Economics

The Otjiwarongo Municipality’s local authority councillors on Tuesday approved the municipality’s 2021/22 capital and expenditure budget of more than N$131 million during a special council...

Our conflict diamonds

15 hours ago | Opinion

Our diamonds have become conflict diamonds. Conflict in the local definition which implies the scramble to enrich well-connected people.The tender to valuate Namdia diamonds was...

Child-slapping boy in Outapi court...

15 hours ago | Crime

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAONGWEDIVAOmusati police have confirmed the arrest of a 17-year-old who was seen in a video clip assaulting a five-year-old girl.The video has gone viral...

Vivo Energy Namibia rewards top...

15 hours ago | Transport

Staff reporter Vivo Energy Namibia, the marketer and distributor of Shell branded petroleum and lubricant products in Namibia, recognised and rewarded top performing retailers...

Load More