Covid drains N$174m from NWR coffers

The state hospitality entity’s recent hopes of marching towards profitability have been dashed.

03 May 2021 | Tourism


2019/2020 financial results:

· Occupancy at 21%

· 56% reduction in revenue

· 1% increase in expenses


While Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) battled one of the most difficult years in the tourism industry, the company made a loss of N$174 million during the 2019/2020 financial year.

NWR chairman Leonard Iipumbu said the significant milestone NWR reached by recording its first ever profit of N$22 million since the establishment of the organisation as well as other financial gains made in 2018/2019 were wiped out due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He made these remarks at the company’s annual general meeting last week, which was held in compliance with the Public Enterprise Act.

During the meeting, the shareholder was represented by public enterprise minister Leon Jooste and the newly appointed deputy minister of tourism, Heather Sibungo.

In presenting its results to the shareholder, Iipumbu said during the 2019/2020 financial year, the company faced its greatest challenges as an organisation.

NWR spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano explained to Namibian Sun that the 2019/2020 financial results must be understood and interpreted within the context of a tough year due to the impacts of the pandemic.

“This was the biggest challenge in the history of the Namibian tourism industry in general and NWR in particular.”


He said NWR’s average occupancy declined from 49% in 2019 to 21%.

This was, however, better than the 10% worst-case scenario they had anticipated when the pandemic broke out.

The company furthermore had a 56% reduction in revenue, from

N$395 million in 2019 to N$173 million, mostly - if not all - from the domestic market, Nesongano said.

“We had a 1% increase in expenses, mainly due to the voluntary separation costs for the 130 employees who left us.”

According to him, this then resulted in a comprehensive loss of N$174 million, which is in line with industry trends for 2020.

However, according to Nesongano, for it to sustain its operations, which resulted in it not retrenching or reducing its employees' salaries except for its board's allowances and senior management salaries, the company needed to be innovative to survive.

"We were the first organisation to offer our establishments to the government as isolation facilities. We must say this was an arrangement few tourism companies were looking at during that period,” Iipumbu said.

Additionally, the company paid special attention to the domestic market, which resulted in offering a discounted rate of N$600 per room from May until September 2020.

“That was a significant discount on our normal rack rates. Through this effort, we were able to keep the business going and provide a much-needed service to the nation. We also launched a new tour package that we envision will be one of the cornerstones of our future," Iipumbu said.

Cost cutting

Nesongano added that from a cost-cutting perspective, NWR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu).

The agreement resolved, amongst other things, to suspend salary increments for the 2019/2020 financial period, suspend normal overtime, Sunday and public holiday payments, and other allowances and benefits from 27 March 2020.

Additionally, it also resolved to place a moratorium on external recruitments to ensure that the company's wage bill remained manageable. NWR also introduced a voluntary separation initiative, which 130 staff members took up.

“These efforts were aimed at helping reduce employee costs,” Nesongano said.

Meanwhile, NWR managing director Matthias Ngwangwama said during the period under review, the Namibia Wildlife Resorts Hospitality Institute (NWR Hi) was successfully established.

In collaboration with the National Training Authority (NTA), NWR's training arm, NWR Hi was operationalised last year and scholarships were awarded to 80 apprentices sourced from across Namibia for the period 2020 to 2023.

Similar News


Hopes for speedy tourism recovery dashed

1 week ago - 26 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKHopes for the tourism industry to have a speedy recovery and a high season that would have started this month have been dashed by...

First woman chairperson for Han

2 weeks ago - 16 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) has for the first time in its 34 years of existence elected a woman as its chairperson.Janet Wilson-Moore,...

First woman chairperson for Han

2 weeks ago - 15 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) has for the first time in its 34 years of existence elected a woman as its chairperson.Janet Wilson-Moore,...

Namibia faces worst travel risk status

3 weeks ago - 12 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKCurrently Namibia finds itself in the worst risk status as a travel destination, highest risk with variant status, having caused severe travel warnings and...

Namibia is losing passport power

3 weeks ago - 09 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKHenley and Partners has just published its latest passport index, outlining the countries that Namibians can travel to without visas right now and how...

Allegations threaten to fracture fragile tourism industry

3 weeks ago - 08 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibian tourism organisations say a new player in the industry is stoking disunity within the sector with false and misleading allegations.Nrupesh Soni’s Namibia Travel...

Tourism products should focus on Covid-19 confinement syndrome

3 weeks ago - 07 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe tourism industry should develop and offer affordable pricing options to tourists aimed at attracting families or individuals away from...

Tourism industry on pins and needles

1 month - 02 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKNamibia has suffered millions in losses since June due to tourist cancellations,...

199 submissions for NWR social media influencer programme

1 month - 02 July 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) received 199 submissions for its first-ever social media influencer programme, which will take place from 1 July to 31 October.Each...

Tourism blacklisting detrimental to NAC

1 month - 28 June 2021 | Tourism

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe blacklisting of Namibia as a tourism destination by the US Centres for Disease Control and the Robert Koch Institute is bound to have...

Latest News

Govt spin doctors in PR...

17 hours ago | Government

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEKGovernment spokespersons are silently opposing Cabinet’s decision to reverse a 2020 resolution that compelled all ministries to adopt an identical...

Living on the sweet side

17 hours ago | Youth

Mariselle StofbergWith just a few ingredients, heaps of imagination and a touch of elegance, 15-year-old Ndapanda Shiyagaya is able to bake and create sweet masterpieces...

Ethiopian Airlines denies shipping arms

17 hours ago | Business

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest carrier in Africa, on Sunday denied it was transporting weapons and soldiers to the war-torn Tigray region.Calls to boycott the state-owned...

EDITORIAL: The true meaning of...

17 hours ago | Opinion

Before every election in southern Africa - and often intermittently during public holidays - we are reminded of the blood that waters our freedom, and...

Over 70 000 Namibians await...

17 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment is scratching its head in the face of a vaccine...

The education sector mourns

17 hours ago | Education

Enzo Amuele Foibe Louise Namene was a trained lawyer and a PhD candidate at the University of Namibia. She served the Namibian electricity utility, NamPower,...

This year’s Olympic Games in...

17 hours ago | Sports

Nadine WillemseThe Olympics have certainly been interesting with a lot of new sports added, like surfboarding, skating and karate, and together with all the other...

Schools are safe, US embassy...

17 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKAn investigation has found that Covid-19 outbreaks were more common in Namibian schools with a hostel than those without.In...

Photo of the week

17 hours ago | Youth

Michelle McLean Bailey poses with Miss Teen Namibia 2021, Alexis Swart. Through the Michelle McLean Children Trust, Swart received a donation of N$15 000 on...

Load More