Endless natural wonders of Namibia

27 October 2020 | Columns

Mariselle Stofberg

“Take me to Namibia, my soul needs to breathe.” We live in a country that offers us endless natural wonders. The vastness and space offer a sense of serenity and calmness. The mysteries, stories and legends are everywhere.

The tourism industry, however, has felt the impact of Covid-19, lockdowns and restrictions. Once-booming lodges and hotels have been forced to retrench employees, downscale operations and, in many cases, forced to close their doors.

With no influx of tourists, we as Namibians need to become the advocates and supporters of our tourism industry. We as young people need to actively support and protect what our beautiful country has to offer.

As young people, we play such an important role in advocating for this beautiful Land of the Brave. We all dream of heading overseas and seeing the world, but we have yet to see all that our country has to offer. We forget about the beauty on our very own doorstep.

We forget that we have the power to bring about change, and we can become ambassadors for this country with its endless beauty, natural wonders and amazing wildlife.

As young people, we get excited by new experiences and sharing those experiences with our friends through social media. Social media has become a tool to reach other people around the world, but why not use this tool to promote what our own country offers? We can capture the essence and beauty of this country and through this, others get to see our corner of this world.

As young people, we can become the change we want to see in the world. Through creativity and innovation, we can identify the areas that can be improved upon. We will become the new generation that will need to drive our tourism industry forward, and we will need to further build on what others have created.

We will need to take hands and help each other recover from the devasting affects of this pandemic. We will feel the impact of Covid-19 for many years to come and our tourism and hospitality industries will need our continued support.

In isolation, we will not achieve much, but we have seen the power of a country working together.

The revival of our tourism industry is not just the responsibility of one group of people. Tourism is our country’s bread and butter, which makes it everyone’s responsibility.

By supporting our local tourism industry, we give our country and our people the opportunity to continue to grow and expand.

By supporting local small businesses, accommodation facilities and tourist attractions, we help to invest in our country and the future of her people. By choosing to support local, we choose to invest in our own future.

This does not mean you need to visit five-star hotels, because very few of us can actually afford this. But you can continue to promote those hotels to others.

You can continue to flood your social media pages with the beauty of our country. You can go on road trips with friends, living off bread and water, but though this, you can see the country. And share what our country has with others.

You can buy that locally produced jam or jewellery. You can visit that tourist attraction, park or landmark and continue to show the world that Namibia is still here and just as beautiful as ever.

The power of word of mouth has never been as important as it is now, and you can become a part of the movement to save our tourism industry.

You can use your design skills to create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing designs to showcase our country’s beauty. You can continue to excel in sport and academics, and through this promote our country and put us on the map.

You can help the industry find ways to continue to excel, despite the presence of Covid-19.

You can identify challenges and bring forth solutions. Innovation is the name of the game, and as a generation that prides itself on being innovative, why not put your money where your mouth is? Why not use your skills to make a difference? Find ways in which you can make a difference, even if that difference seems small.

It is the small, constant differences that will bring about real change. It is the combined effort and support that will be the lifeline our tourism industry needs.

Choose local, because local is always lekker, and be part of the solution.

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