International arrivals slowly picking up

The index for rooms’ occupancy rate declined by 28.3% in July 2021 on monthly basis, an improvement from a decline of 42.5% recorded in the preceding month.

21 September 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

The index for regional and international arrivals recorded a marginal increase of 0.9% monthly in July 2021 upward from a reduction of 28.4% registered in June 2021. On an annual basis, the number of passengers arriving in Namibia increased significantly from 732 passengers recorded a year earlier to 9 159 passengers registered during the period under review.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), the year-on-year increase observed were mainly to the country slowly having reached the peak of our third wave, hence decline in the new Covid-19 infections recorded as the cases has recently gone below 1000 per day. Further, the increase registered was mainly attributed to the pro-actively and the efforts of the Tourism Revival Initiative for Namibia since September 2020, that worked towards the safe reopening of regional and international travel.

The index for regional and international departures registered a negative growth rate of 5.0% on monthly basis during the period under review, when compared to a reduced growth rate of 23.4% recorded in June 2021.

On annual basis, it was observed that there was an increase in the number of passengers that departed in July 2021, reaching a level of 9 156 from 1 197 passengers recorded in the corresponding period of 2020, NSA pointed out.

The increase recorded on annual basis in the departures were mainly attributed to the gradual relaxation in travel restrictions across the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, this was due to government coordination on travel protocols and initiative for free Covid-19 vaccination rolled out country wide by the Ministry of Health and Social services in response to curb the pandemic, NSA said.

OCCUPANCY

The index for rooms’ occupancy rate declined by 28.3% in July 2021 on monthly basis, an improvement from a decline of 42.5% recorded in the preceding month. However, the index slowed down recording a growth rate of 55.4%, year-on-year.

Despite the month of July 2021 usually being the start of the tourism high season, the decline registered month-on-month was due to the country being under partial lock down, NSA added.

The index for beds’ occupancy rate registered a decline of 18.8% in July 2021 on monthly basis, from a negative growth rate of 45.3% recorded in June 2021. On annual basis, the index increased by 67.0%.

The increase registered year-on-year, mainly resulted from the relaxation of regulations during the lockdown period as tourists remained free to move between regions, all hotels, guesthouses, lodges, campsites and other tourism infrastructure remained open for tourism, NSA said.

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