Alarm bells over room occupancy

31 January 2019 | Tourism

Namibian tourism accommodation establishments recorded an average room occupancy rate of 53% during 2018, down 4% from 2017, and over 6% lower than in 2016.

According to Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) CEO Gitta Paetzold this revelation is cause for concern.

The results emanate from the regular tourism room occupancy statistical reports processed by HAN, after submissions by its members across Namibia. The sharpest declines were experienced in the first half of the year, with -8% and -9% declines during the first two quarters respectively, compared to the same period in 2017.

“Luckily, the tourism high-season during the second half of 2018 seems to have picked up with 1% and 4% (increases) for the third and fourth quarters (respectively), enabling the industry to balance out at a 4% decline overall,” said Paetzold.

She said a concerted effort is urgently needed by other tourism stakeholders, apart from the formally registered accommodation industry.

This includes car rental companies, tour operations, airlines and other service providers providing statistics to determine where the business is shifting to. Paetzold said with regulated hotels, lodges, guesthouses and farms just over half full throughout 2018, alarm bells must be sounded early.

“Although tourism is still a well-performing industry the market currently does not call for ever-increasing infrastructure and the endless construction of additional accommodation without thorough feasibility studies.” According to Paetzold proper recordkeeping of tourism flows and intensified market research and marketing efforts are needed, while service providers need to focus on erasing stumbling blocks in reservation systems. Also, more flexibility in reservation procedures and building on relationships with tourism partners and the opening up of new markets are needed, she said.

Paetzold said they have been informed by various sources that while Namibia still seems to rank high in terms of best destinations to travel to in 2019, this does not seem to convert into sales and requests, and actual forward-bookings for the coming year seem noticeably down.

She said especially bigger operators that are responsible for the bulk number of bona fide tourists travelling to Namibia seem to be on the decrease.

“Individual and smaller operators still seem to enjoy a good flow of incoming requests, but in general there is concern that the booking process for Namibia has become a stumbling block, with a number of foreign agents terming Namibia too difficult to book and are therefore choosing other destinations in Africa.”

Paetzold said Namibia is a long-haul destination, especially from its main source markets, with the bulk of bona fide tourists making use of air travel.

“These are the high-spending people who visit Namibia purely for tourism purposes, making use of commercial accommodation, car rentals or tour operator services.”

Paetzold said concerns have thus been raised by some operators, who noted that while flights to Namibia during the 2017 high-season were about 700 euro (about N$10 900), the same flights for the coming high-season were quoted at over 1 200 euro

(about N$18 700)

According to Paetzold this increase effectively adds an extra daily cost of over N$1 000 per guest for a 12- to 14-day trip and is possibly one of the deciding factors not to consider Namibia as a destination for now.

She said the increasing prevalence of Airbnb is also a concern, as their offerings are clearly diluting the market. “It is worrying, that most of the properties listed on that platform are still not formally registered, as per the legal requirements here in Namibia, and thus do not pay general taxes or tourism levies, hence presenting unfair competition, while not contributing to overall tourism promotion activities, or the national tax base, which would allow for general infrastructure development.”

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

NWR allows Black Friday booking extensions

10 hours ago | Tourism

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKDue to travel restrictions announced last week, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says it will allow Black Friday booking extensions.According to NWR, throughout the past...

Tourism anxious about new measures

1 week ago - 17 June 2021 | Tourism

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe tourism sector is waiting with baited breath for clarity on the new regulations government has rolled out to stem...

Glimmer of hope for tourism

1 week ago - 16 June 2021 | Tourism

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKNamibia is confident that its Tourism Revival Initiative Strategy (TRIS), launched a year ago, will improve business and traveller...

Tourism rebound only likely in 2022

1 week ago - 14 June 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKInternational tourist arrivals were down 83% in the first quarter of 2021 as widespread travel restrictions remained in place, while expectations are that a...

New uniforms for wildlife and protected area officials

2 weeks ago - 10 June 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKMore than 1 000 wildlife and protected area officials within the...

Covid-19: Booking cancellations hit tourism sector

2 weeks ago - 09 June 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe local tourism industry is experiencing a flood of booking cancellations due to the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, the high number of fatalities...

Tourism levies take N$25m nosedive

3 weeks ago - 01 June 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT and JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK Tourism levies, the primary source income for...

NWR offers free trips to influencers

4 weeks ago - 26 May 2021 | Tourism

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKNamibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) is inviting social media influencers to be part of its first-ever social media influencer programme from 1 July to 31...

Covid drains N$174m from NWR coffers

1 month - 03 May 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT 2019/2020 financial results: · Occupancy at 21% · ...

Tourism industry urged to get vaccinated

1 month - 03 May 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe tourism ministry has encouraged staff in the tourism sector to...

Latest News

Ex-striking NBC employees fight for...

10 hours ago | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKDespite agreeing to the principle of ‘no work, no pay’ for their strike nearly two months ago, NBC employees who...

Working in the shadow of...

10 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES · Clinics turned into hospitals · Nurses...

Cape Verde to renationalise its...

10 hours ago | Economics

Cape Verde's government said Monday that it is taking over the national airline over concerns for its future, after selling a majority stake in 2019.Speaking...

Sudan eliminates customs exchange rate...

10 hours ago | Economics

Sudan has eliminated its customs exchange rate, used to calculate import duties, as the final step in a devaluation of its local currency, the finance...

Nigeria considers equity fund to...

10 hours ago | Economics

Nigeria is considering the set-up of a private equity fund as part of its effort to fight poverty in Africa's most populous nation and has...

EDITORIAL: Violence ranking expected

10 hours ago | Opinion

According to the 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), Namibia is the country where the experience of violence is the greatest worldwide.It said...

Shoprite, Dunnhumby renew partnership in...

10 hours ago | Business

Shoprite and Dunnhumby have announced the renewal of their partnership in Africa. Shoprite, the largest grocery retailer in Africa with over 500 stores and 20...

Heineken takes control of India's...

10 hours ago | Business

Heineken NV, the world's second largest beer maker, has taken control of India's largest brewer United Breweries Limited (UBL), cementing its position in a vast...

ECN ordered to avail spoilt...

10 hours ago | Politics

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUThe Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has been ordered by the electoral court to allow the All People’s Party (APP) access to the...

Load More