Tourism occupancy 30% below normal in August

The tourism sector is still running at one-third of the normal flow, but the relaxation of travel restrictions by several countries is encouraging.

29 September 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Accommodation establishments in Namibia recorded an average of nearly 20% room occupancy last month, nearly double the occupancy rate of that reached in August last year, but 30% below normal for that month.

This is according to Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) CEO Gitta Paetzold, who said that August usually represents the most active month on their calendar.

According to Han’s monthly report for August, room occupancy stood at 19.9% this year.

“It is pleasing to note we could more than double the performance compared to last year to reach almost 20% compared to just over 8% last year,” Paetzold said.

However, she added that August 2020 was the last month of closed borders, hence the very low occupancy then.

In the last normal tourism year, 2019, the August reflected 67.18% occupancy.

Paetzold said this means the tourism sector is currently at not even one-third of the normal flow.

“But the current flow of tourism in Namibia still is encouraging, and the relaxation of restrictions and more nations recognising Namibia as a low-risk and ideal travel destination may help us move upward and forward towards our target of a reasonable tourism recovery for the rest of the year.”

Tourism Day

Meanwhile, International Tourism Day was celebrated yesterday under the theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’.

Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said although the sector has received few arrivals and seen declining activities in the last two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a positive trend in international tourists’ arrivals has been observed since the middle of this year.

He said the ministry is working in collaboration with the private sector and all developmental partners to see the full recovery of the sector through aggressive marketing steps, attracting new markets and introducing relevant policy interventions.

“Tourism has become a lifeline sector for many in Namibia. It is therefore imperative that all of us in some way or another support ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ interventions and initiatives for a

better tourism economy in Namibia.”

[email protected]

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