Shifeta: Tourism revival ongoing

The Tourist Revival Initiative is continuing and requires the tourism industry to come up with new and more innovative ideas to maximise the opportunities that it presents.

27 October 2020 | Business

We had with every plane landing since the first arrival on 11 September tourists on board. – Pohamba Shifeta: Tourism minister

The latest relaxation of travel controls does not mean the end of the International Tourist Revival Initiative (TRI).

This is according to tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta, who says statistics for the pilot phase showed that within just few days Namibia welcomed more than 300 tourists.

“Furthermore, the TRI was successful in putting Namibia on the map as a safe tourist destination.

“This is evident from the confidence showed by the number of tourists we received as foreign tourists to come Namibia.”

The TRI was announced in June as an effort to spur the recovery of the tourism sector, which was brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic.

The implementation of the TRI started on 1 September for a pilot phase of one month.

“The objective of the TRI was to attract and see foreign tourists come back and we are happy to report that this was achieved. We had with every plane landing since the first arrival on 11 September tourists on board,” Shifeta said.

On 21 October, President Hage Geingob announced new, relaxed travel regulations.

Shifeta says the initiative is continuing and requires the tourism industry to come up with new and more innovative ideas to maximise the opportunities that it presents.

Shifeta said the gradual reopening of borders on reciprocal basis and the lifting of restrictions on passenger numbers in public transport, private vehicles and group tour operators should further enhance the growth of the sector.



Global impact

He said the new measures have already drawn positive feedback, with large tour operators in Germany announcing that they will resume their tour programme to Namibia.

“However, the reality is that the future is not known and we should be cognisant of the fact that tourism is a commodity trade on an international market and is heavily influenced by what is happening globally. We are hearing a rising spike of new infections in America and Europe again, which can affect travelling of tourists from those countries.”

He said the volume of tourists would further depend on the disposable income of individuals, as the pandemic has affected everybody.

“We should therefore make our products attractive. As government, we will continue to create an enabling environment and opportunities for the business fraternity to capitalise on.

“It is for the industry now to provide products and prices that are competitive enough to attract the volumes we want and maximise on the upcoming holiday season.”



Current regulations

All leisure travellers entering Namibia provide a negative SARS CoV2 PCR test not older than 72 hours from the time the specimen was collected to the time of boarding a plane to Namibia.

The requirement for the mandatory test on day five has been withdrawn.

Entry into Namibia will be allowed via the Hosea Kutako and Walvis Bay international airports and the Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer and Katima Mulilo land border posts.

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