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

 

Namibia wants off UK’s red list

5 days ago - 15 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Namibia remains on the United Kingdom’s red list, which restricts travel and requires returning British or Irish nationals to...

Domestic tourism to drive sector’s recovery

6 days ago - 14 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKDomestic tourism offers the main chance for driving recovery in the sector, although all subsectors like the high-end fly-in safaris and tour operations will...

Hope for tourism recovery

1 week ago - 13 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe tourism ministry is developing a tourism recovery plan which will support the continuous government efforts to reboot the sector...

Petition for disbanding tourism associations launched

1 week ago - 07 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKConcerned stakeholders in the tourism industry have started a petition in which...

Petition for disbanding tourism associations

2 weeks ago - 06 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKConcerned stakeholders in the tourism industry have started a petition in which they are calling on tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta to urgently address what...

NWR proceeds with salary cuts

2 weeks ago - 31 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKNamibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says it has implemented salary cuts for its...

Namibia’s tourism attractiveness dwindles

3 weeks ago - 24 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKConfidence in Namibia as an attainable travel destination is dwindling, while another month of vaguely defined and restrictive Covid-19 rules may result in the...

Tourism makes urgent appeal to save jobs

4 weeks ago - 23 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe tourism industry has appealed for an urgent amendment of the wording in the Government Gazette with regard to Covid-19 PCR tests required to...

Namibia off to Dubai expo

4 weeks ago - 23 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia will join more than 190 countries at the Dubai World Expo 2020, scheduled to take place from 1 October to March 2022 in...

Tourism: 35% of businesses foresee closure

1 month - 16 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKMore than 50% of 485 surveyed tourism businesses in Namibia have indicated that they have either retrenched workers or reduced...

Latest News

Eagles on point

12 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIFollowing an eventful and nerve-wracking run chase, Namibia's Capricorn Eagles (90/8) beat Tanzania (89/7) by two wickets, with two balls remaining in the semi-final...

Blue Waters plan to go...

12 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIPaulus Shipanga said this after his side Blue Waters defeated Western Spurs 6-4 in penalties at the Jan Wilken Stadium in Mariental after a...

Tigers netballers still in the...

12 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIThe head coach of Tigers, Morné Pienaar, says the team is doing very well in the MTC Namibia Netball Premier League because the shooters...

Capricorn remains resilient amidst Covid

12 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Locally-listed Capricorn Group, with Bank Windhoek as its flagship brand, has provided payment holidays on loans freeing up N$343 million in cash...

NAFAU to represent NIDA employees

12 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU The Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) signed the recognition agreement on Friday. The union...

Bleeding TransNamib to retrench 340...

12 hours ago | Transport

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKTransNamib intends to retrench 340 of its 1 309 employees within the coming weeks, its CEO Johny Smith has informed public enterprises minister Leon...

N$9.5bn guarantees for SOE borrowing

12 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment guarantees to back borrowing by public enterprises stood at N$9.5 billon as at the end of August 2021.This has been confirmed by the...

‘My mother tried to kill...

12 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAONANDJOKWE Wilka Shikongo says she cannot believe that the woman she has called mother for 45 years beat her up so severely that...

Pele continues recovery

12 hours ago | Sports

SuperSportSoccer legend Pele continues to recover from colon surgery, with his family posting a video of the 80-year-old Brazilian smiling while undergoing physiotherapy in his...

Load More