Petition for disbanding tourism associations
06 September 2021 | Tourism
Concerned stakeholders in the tourism industry have started a petition in which they are calling on tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta to urgently address what they described as exclusivity in the tourism industry.
The petition, started by a group calling themselves ‘Save Namibian Tourism’, calls for inclusivity within the Namibian tourism industry and for cancelling the mandate of tourism associations.
It claims that the more than ten tourism associations in the country have been misrepresenting the Namibian tourism industry for over three decades and using entities for the benefit of only a few companies.
“We request that tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta address this issue on an urgent basis, because of the vast number of jobs lost in the industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the petition reads.
It further requests the minister to cancel the mandate of the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations and its associations and to form a new, all-inclusive vehicle to address the concerns of a wider group of Namibians and local companies.
‘Bias and discrimination’
The founder and owner of the Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum, Nrupesh Soni, said the petition was drawn up to address “the current bias and discrimination” in the Namibian tourism industry.
He said the petition would be sent to the ministry once it had garnered 100 signatures. By Friday morning, it had 49 signatures.
“It is a petition to show that there is a need for change by a lot of people,” said Soni.
“If they [the associations] do not respond to the issues in the industry, why do they exist, if it is only to serve the needs of a handful of companies?”
One of the reasons given for signing the petition was: “I’m signing because I believe there is truth in the allegations,” said Randy Körner.
Albert Tjaronda said: “Fairness, just and equitable must remain our guiding principles and non-discrimination.”
Olga Kandjii commented: “I believe in inclusivity.”
The spokesperson of the ministry, Romeo Muyunda, said the ministry could not interfere in the affairs of the tourism associations.
“They are not commissioned by us; they are formed by individual members to achieve a common goal. If at all members feel the associations are not doing what is expected of them, it is up to them to initiate action to resolve the problem using established processes.”
He added that the ministry had neither the mandate, nor the authority to dismantle tourism associations.
“They are formed by members and should be dismantled by members if necessary. We however wish to caution that any division in the sector at the moment will be detrimental.
“We therefore call for unity within the sector, considering the fact that it has been heavily affected by the pandemic. We can only revive the industry if we are united for a common purpose. If there are any issues in the sector, we encourage a peaceful resolution.”