Angolan tourists on the decline

The economic crisis in Angola has led to an 11% drop in Angolan visitors to Namibia, with devastating effect for northern businesses.

19 December 2017 | Tourism

Although Angola remained Namibia's largest tourism market with more than 398 000 Angolans visiting the country last year, the economic crisis in the neighbouring country had a major impact on the numbers.

The number of Angolans visiting Namibia dropped by nearly 11%, from 447 038 in 2015 to 398 939 last year. Between 2014 and 2015 there was a 5% decline. Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta expressed concern over the drop in the numbers when he released the Tourism Statistical Report for 2016 last week.

“Angolan visitors have dropped due to the declining buying power caused by the economic crisis and the drop in oil prices.”

After a continued drop in oil prices in recent years, the price of crude oil dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade at the beginning of this year and pushed oil-exporting Angola's currency to record lows. This plunged the economy of Africa's second largest crude producer into a crisis. Despite the country's oil and diamond resources, Angola suffers endemic poverty, with more than a third of the population of around 24 million living below the poverty line.

“They depended on the oil income, which went down. You will now find fewer Angolans coming here to spend. Now you can see that there is a problem and even day-visitors are declining,” said Shifeta.

He said large numbers of Angolan day-visitors used to do shopping at the towns of Oshikango and Katwitwi, but the local economies of these border towns have collapsed.

Shifeta said those Angolans still visiting Namibia are not spending as much as they used to.

In 2015 already, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) had expressed concern that the plunging global oil price would lead to Angolans curbing their massive shopping sprees in Namibia, which had long been the lifeblood of the northern regions.

“Low oil prices are not only good news. Depending on how long they will prevail, they can have a negative impact on oil exploration activities in the country in the medium to long term.

“In addition, demand from Angolans living in Namibia or coming for shopping could decline once the lower oil prices impact on salary levels, economic activities in Angola, and the value of their currency,” the IPPR said. Bonnie Mbdizo of the Namibian Tourism Board added that South Africa had recently lifted its visa restrictions for Angolans.

He said Namibia must ensure that it does not become a transit destination for Angolans on their way to South Africa.

“We need to move our destination further, our competitors are doing well. We have to diversify our markets and address the issue of seasonality.”

Furthermore, statistics show that there was a 1% increase in arrivals from African tourist markets from 2015 to 2016. That poor result is attributed to the 11% drop in the Angolan market. Occupancy statistics indicate that Angolans accounted for only 1.6% of the business done by Namibian accommodation establishments last year. Namibians occupied 33% of accommodation establishments. There was a 35% increase in German visitors to Namibia since 2015 and Germany showed dominance in the overseas market, while the UK and USA took second and third place. The number of tourists from Europe grew by 26% while North American visitors grew by 10% in 2016. There was also an increase of 8% in the number of tourist arrivals from China.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Mexican snaps up Erindi

3 days ago - 23 May 2019 | Tourism

A Mexican billionaire is set to become the new owner of the 71 000-hectare Erindi Private Game Reserve, subject to the approval of the Namibian...

Hobas opens in time for hiking season

3 days ago - 23 May 2019 | Tourism

The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Hobas Lodge in the //Karas Region is set to reopen on 1 June after experiencing devastating flash floods in February...

Sustainable wildlife use the future - Shifeta

2 weeks ago - 06 May 2019 | Tourism

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says the sustainable use of local wildlife is the future of conservation.He said conservation efforts will ultimately be rendered worthless if...

Tense standoff at NWR

1 month - 25 April 2019 | Tourism

The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) board has appointed Matthias Ngwangwama as the acting managing director following the suspension on Tuesday of Zelna Hengari.In a brief...

Hengari says justice will prevail

1 month - 24 April 2019 | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) yesterday indefinitely suspended managing director Zelna Hengari pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct.Hengari confirmed the suspension in a brief telephonic...

Namibia beats new US safety warning

1 month - 15 April 2019 | Tourism

The United States has updated its travel advisories with a new indicator to highlight the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking.Namibia is still seen as...

Less money for parks upkeep

1 month - 12 April 2019 | Tourism

The budget allocated to the environment and tourism ministry for the 2019/20 financial year has increased slightly to N$461 million from the N$400 million that...

Camel thorns for a cause

1 month - 10 April 2019 | Tourism

Last week ATC Namibia, a local tour operator, joined hands with Intelligence Support against Poaching (ISAP) Namibia, a non-profit anti-poaching NGO, to launch a 'Trees...

NWR blames MD for JV deal cancellation

1 month - 09 April 2019 | Tourism

Leonard Iipumbu, the chair of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) board, has laid the blame for the cancellation of a joint-venture agreement with Sun Karros...

Employment bonanza

1 month - 08 April 2019 | Tourism

The travel and tourism industry in Namibia is expected to create more than 122 000 direct jobs within the next decade, contributing more than 15%...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More