Tourism: October best occupancy yet

24 November 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

October has been the best performing month this year for tourism in Namibia, with an average occupancy rate of almost 34% across the country.

Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) CEO Gitta Paetzold said since July, which is traditionally the start of the tourism season for Namibia, occupancy levels have been on the increase.

In July, accommodation establishments in Namibia recorded a 12% room occupancy, which increased to about 20% in August, and 27.2% in September.

“Compared to the two previous years, it is promising to note that the performance of October 2021 is more than double that of 2020 where Namibia reached an overall occupancy of 14.45%.”

Paetzold said in October 2019, the last normal year before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Namibia, October reached almost 70% occupancy.

“This means that currently we are nearly at half of a normal tourism performance.”

Return of international tourists

She said last month also saw the return of international tourists, with about 47% coming from various European countries, while Namibians occupied some 38% of beds.

In 2020, the ratio of Namibians to Europeans in terms of occupancy was 67% to 12%, while in 2019 saw 60% guests coming from abroad and 18% from Namibia.

“It is hoped that this growing trend will continue for the rest of the year and into 2022, but the tourism sector is very aware of the challenges and uncertainties prevailing due to the pandemic and therefore remains cautiously optimistic about the general tourism recovery efforts undertaken in Namibia.”

Recovery plan

Meanwhile, the tourism ministry kicked off countrywide stakeholder consultations on the draft of Namibia’s Sector Recovery Plan for 2022 to 2024 this week.

The first consultations started yesterday in the Erongo Region and will conclude in Khomas with dates still to be confirmed.

The recovery plan aims to provide a national consolidated response in terms of the required strategic and policy interventions, programmes and activities to ignite the recovery process of the tourism sector from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In other news, National Geographic has revealed its top destinations for 2022, among which Namibia’s Zambezi Region was mentioned as an up-and-coming must-see safari destination.

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