Local Tourism Is Lekker hosts expo
For Namibians, by Namibians
11 November 2020 | Tourism
Along with local specials, it is also an opportunity for the local tourism industry to network amongst each other and strategize for the coming year, finding new avenues to work together and to enable Namibians to make use of amazing specials.
The Local Tourism Is Lekker Initiative was established in March this year by Yvonne von Holtz (Magic Destinations) and Nrupesh Soni (Facilit8 Namibia), and subsequently joined by Joseph Kafunda (Rafiki Tours and chairperson of Emerging Tourism Enterprises Association (ETEA)) and Heiko Dörgeloh (About Africa Tours). The intention was to provide a central hub for tourism suppliers to showcase their offers and for Namibians to access such offers giving them an opportunity to explore and experience our beautiful country.
The initiative took off quickly, reaching 6 000 members within the first month, with over 2 000 specials posted. This gave many local establishments and tour companies a much-needed boost to as well as some form of sustainability. Since the launch, membership now stands at almost 15 000, with over 7 500 active members daily and over 7 500 specials posted so far, along with hundreds of Namibian travellers assisted via recommendations based on their requests.
Overall, the initiative has assisted in getting the average occupancy rates to over 10% which otherwise would have been lower due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector worldwide.
The expo is aimed at providing an opportunity for Namibian tourism entities to showcase their offers to local and SADC travellers, regardless of whether the specials are for the upcoming holidays or long-term. The idea is to mitigate the current circumstances and also provide all Namibians with new options to travel and stay locally.
Apart from this, it gives all local entities in tourism a chance to network amongst themselves and boost industry morale.
The expo is aimed at being a non-profit event, so all companies and entities are charged a minimal amount of N$1 000 for the space for three days, and the organisers are aiming to limit it to a single spot per company. The intention is to enable as many companies as possible to join.
At the same time, there are some companies who are direct suppliers of products and services to tourism establishments who will be able to network and find new partnerships. The focus is inclusivity and local support, so only companies who are directly involved or serve the tourism industry in Namibia are participating.
The event takes place at Droombos and The Vineyard on the outskirts of the capital, who have graciously offered their support for this initiative and given the organisers the venue at cost, to cover the basic expenses.
What lies ahead?
Due to the lockdown of borders as a result of Covid-19, the tourism sector plummeted from potentially having one of the best years, to rendering thousands of Namibians without a job or business. Thus, the networking event that is planned for 2 December 2020 is to open up the discussion on the future of tourism and the way the industry can partner up going forward. This event is open to everyone who is directly involved in tourism in Namibia. Through various partnerships with different associations, the organisers hope to provide support and opportunities to everyone in the Namibian tourism industry – from tour guides and car rental agencies to lodges and tour operators.
Visit the Local Tourism is Lekker Facebook page for more information.