Develop heritage tourism

15 April 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

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

This will be done through the arts and culture ministry and the tourism ministry in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Spokesperson of the tourism ministry Romeo Muyunda said that the two ministries have a joint responsibility to promote sustainable cultural tourism in Namibia.

He said this strategy was aimed at assessing various economical strategies in heritage tourism to improve the abilities of communities to derive maximum benefits from their heritage resources through sustainable tourism practices.

It also aims to accelerate the creation of jobs and economic growth through heritage tourism at community level and can function as a tool for resource mobilisation for heritage-tourism-related projects.

“Namibia has a wealth of cultural heritage resources, but while some tour operators currently feature some history, heritage sites and events, the robust scope to create a heritage tourism programme has not been developed. This national strategy proposes some strategies and actions to strengthen this component of the tourism offerings in Namibia,” said Muyunda.

He said tourism is an important sector in Namibia, generates a significant number of jobs and is a valuable foreign-exchange earner for the economy.

“As we roll out this strategy, it is important to recognise and strengthen the role of communities not only as mere participants, but also as active and equal partners in defining the role of cultural tourism to development.”

Muyunda said the strategy envisions a vital heritage tourism scene in Namibia, highlighting the country’s rich historical, natural and cultural offerings to attract more visitors and enrich, delight and inspire tourism experiences.

Domestic tourism

He said that with the coronavirus pandemic presenting challenges to global tourism, it is imperative that Namibian strengthens domestic tourism as an alternative revenue base for communities living in and around sites of cultural significance.

“Domestic tourism, if promoted strategically, could aid in stimulating the economy and has the potential to create jobs for locals, help alleviate poverty and the high level of poverty.”

The strategy will be launched next Wednesday.

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