NTB wants no association with NTTF

Shortly after the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations distanced itself from Soni’s association, the Namibian Tourism Board followed suit.

11 October 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

The Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) has joined other tourism organisations in officially distancing themselves from the Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum (NTTF) due to a myriad of allegations it has made against NTB.

In a statement, CEO of NTB, Digu //Noabeb, said an array of allegations has been levelled against NTB, of which is the issue that it is propagating inclusivity by co-operating only with certain tourism associations.

“Such allegations are without factual basis and malicious.”

//Noabeb said these allegations are intended to fuel negativity and disunity within the tourism industry and taints the professional image of the industry, both locally and globally.

He said the NTB board has resolved it shall forthwith, in the short- to medium-term, not work or collaborate with NTTF and its founder Nrupesh Soni in any form, nor be involved in any dealings that will associate it with NTTF.

“There is no basis in law or any legislation that obligates NTB to do so.”

He pointed out that Article 21 of Namibia’s Constitution deals with fundamentals of freedom.

“It provides for the freedom of speech, but such has bounds and limits and is not meant to allow abuse under the disguise of freedom of speech and expression to castigate individuals, associations and public institutions to advance personal crusades and agendas by spreading misinformation.”

Change your ways

He added that the same Article also provides for freedom to join associations.

//Noabeb said one therefore has a choice to elect to be a member at free will.

“NTB nor the government, which is principal shareholder of NTB, has no power to disband any association. Every association has the constitutional right to exist and represent its own members.”

He, however, said the board may reconsider their decision should NTTF and Soni conduct themselves in a professional manner and reconstitute its membership to ensure that it represents the interest of tourism establishments and operators.

“We are serious to work with progressive organisations and stakeholders whose fundamental aim is to work towards the recovery of an already depressed tourism industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

‘Malicious attacks’

Recently, the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (Fenata) and its associated organisations also officially distanced itself from NNTF due to its “malicious attacks, slander of established tourism bodies”.

The associations included Namibia Professional Hunting Association, Car Rental Association of Namibia, Emerging Tourism Enterprises Association, Tourist Guides' Association of Namibia, Hospitality Association of Namibia, the Tour and Safari Association of Namibia, Association of Namibian Travel Agents and the Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality.

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