GROWING: Namibia’s tourism sector is on the right track to recover. 
Photo: NWR
GROWING: Namibia’s tourism sector is on the right track to recover. Photo: NWR

Tourism occupancy reaches 51% in July

Ellanie Smit
In July, accommodation establishments in Namibia recorded an overall room occupancy of more than 51%.

“This is just 8% short of the performance of the last normal year, 2019, and almost five times as high as the performance of 2021,” the CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Gitta Paetzold, said.

In July 2021, occupancy stood at 11.4% and in 2019, it was at 59.6%.

According to her, all indications are that Namibia is on the right track towards full tourism recovery.

Paetzold said Namibia’s main source market, central Europe, remains key and seems to even be growing, with over 57% of all guests frequenting Namibian accommodations establishments in July coming from Europe, compared to 53% in 2019.

Meanwhile, 31.3% of guests originated from the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and Benelux countries [Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg] constituted over 10% of all visitors. France and Italy also proved valuable source markets, Paetzold said.

Visitors from the United States made up 4.29% of all visitors at establishments in July, compared to 3.84% in 2019.

Demand remains high

“With strong and multifaceted marketing efforts for the promotion of the Namibian tourism sector in Europe, demand for travel remains high.”

Paetzold added that Namibia’s presence in brochures and media productions - both in print and electronic - in Europe, is encouraging.

“Noticeable is the fact that Namibia has prominent presence in promotional offers and material of key outlets and discounters in Germany, offering tours to Namibia as a highlight of a list of various packages offered across the globe.

She said in recent weeks, the long queues in front of access gates of some of Namibia’s flagship products such as Sossusvlei and the rising prices of flights, due to high demand, is also proof of the success of Namibia’s tourism recovery efforts.

“In fact, increasing the air access to Namibia may again be a key focus point for the travel sector and Namibia as a whole, while efficient destination access systems may also help Namibia offer an attractive, welcoming and pleasant travel experience all round.”

Crime a concern

She, however, highlighted that recent reports of tourists being robbed remain a concern, and, as an industry, they are continuously working to curb such negative influences.

“One needs to remember that this is not a phenomenon unique to Namibia. Key is for everyone, public and private sector and the relevant authorities, to act swiftly to put a stop to such incidents. Whether this is by way of putting up public signs at the airport is doubtful, as this unnecessarily highlights the problem without addressing or curbing crime.

“As discussed with both national and City Police in the past, better surveillance and presence of police at some hot-spots and good communication between the industry and the authorities is the best way to keep crime down.”

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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