Rebirth planned for tourism sector

Namibia wants to win travellers’ trust with a new rescue plan

24 November 2021 | Tourism

Swakopmund • [email protected]

About 18 months after the corona crisis brought the tourism industry to its knees, government is in the process of developing a Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. In the coming weeks, the first draft will be presented to all stakeholders nationwide.
The first such meeting took place in Swakopmund on Tuesday. After all input has been given, the plan will be submitted to cabinet with the aim of stimulating the sector.
“We don't have to beat about the bush. The consequences of the pandemic have been catastrophic,” said Sebulon Chicalo, Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Tourism (MEFT). According to him, the plan is set to be implemented from 2022 to 2024, as international organisations expect the industry to recover thereafter.
The plan lists five strategic interventions and 14 programs that government intends to implement. “Government can’t do this alone. We all need to take hands, because there will be many opportunities to restart and reboot the sector.”
One of the main focus areas lies in “aggressive international marketing” to attract tourists from new source markets - this is budgeted to cost N$100 million. Among the many interventions, government intends to attract more international airlines, market Namibia on international, well-known online platforms such as Netflix, and allow and facilitate ease of entrance for tourists.
In addition, customs and immigration officials are to be schooled in the areas of customer care and service, because “tourists have the first contact with immigration officers who also give the first impression.”

Destination Swakopmund
Another drastic change: Swakopmund or the central coast is set to become Namibia's tourism hub. Under the theme “Destination Swakopmund”, the aim is to encourage airlines to touch down in Walvis Bay instead of at the Hosea Kutako International Airport as a matter of urgency.
“Windhoek will remain Namibia's political capital, but Erongo will be the centre of tourism,” Chicalu said.
Another intervention is the modernisation for data collection, because “with decent statistics you can plan well”.
Chicalu criticized the fact that there are currently insufficient statistics on tourism. “Decent data is an endangered species in Namibia,” he said, citing the example that no authority can quantify Namibia’s domestic tourism market.
Chicalu also mentioned the KAZA transnational park a few times, saying the “rapid implementation of a cross-border visa (UniVisa)” and the expansion of the Mpacha airport at Katima Mulilo to an international airport would aid tourism. “If we don't act quickly, our neighbours (e.g. Botswana) will get the business,” he said.
The plan also lists initiatives to promote local and regional tourism, including cheaper entry fees to national parks and more. But, according to Chicalu, Namibia also wants to attract more high-end tourists.
“Rich tourists have money, but no time. We want to promote fly-in safaris more and, for instance, enable them to land directly in the Etosha National Park (near Okakuejo or Namutoni) in the future,” he said.
Chicalu also noted that the plan includes many political interventions, which need to be implemented with urgency. “These are unusual times, and we need to re-design ourselves a bit. We must think big. We cannot continue to go small.”

Similar News


Three lucky Namleisure winners

3 weeks ago - 05 November 2021 | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) ran a social media giveaway competition during the second half of October on all its social media pages. Participants had to...

Influencer programme generates great interest

1 month - 27 October 2021 | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) collaborated with ten social media influencers on its first-ever social media influencer programme, to create awareness of its resorts to a...

Internal discord in the tourism sector

1 month - 08 October 2021 | Tourism

Swakopmund • [email protected] Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum (NTTF) and its founder Nrupesh Soni have been making headlines for months - and not always for...

Reaching for the stars

1 month - 07 October 2021 | Tourism

Between 24 August and 21 September 2021, the Universities of Namibia and Oxford jointly offered a free online “Introduction to Astronomy And Astrotourism” (AAA) course...

Planning a holiday? Shark Island is ready for you!

2 months ago - 27 September 2021 | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited, which initially planned to renovate its Shark Island campsite in the 2019/2020 financial year, had to postpone its plans due...

Travel local

2 months ago - 12 September 2021 | Tourism

Domestic tourism offers the main chance for driving recovery to the tourism industry, after the noticeable decline in the number of tourists in the year...

Pay cuts continue at NWR

3 months ago - 29 August 2021 | Tourism

In July this year, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited announced the need to cut employees’ salaries as a last resort after it had exhausted all...

Top tips for great customer service

3 months ago - 17 August 2021 | Tourism

Windhoek • Raven Ntjamba Customer service in Namibia does not often get positive reviews. However, different organisations and individuals have invested in several ways to...

Massive decline in tourism arrivals

3 months ago - 12 August 2021 | Tourism

Windhoek • Ellanie SmitThere were only 169 565 tourist arrivals last year, compared to more than 1.595 million the previous year, indicating an 89% decline...

Pandemic batters pre-Covid 19 tourism optimism

3 months ago - 11 August 2021 | Tourism

Windhoek • [email protected] August 2021 United Nations report on Namibian tourism documents the extreme plunge of the sector’s optimism for the future in the aftermath...

Latest News

Kiddie Sport remains a hit

15 hours ago | Sports

Since 1992, Kiddie Sport has been introduced to most pre-primary and primary schools in the capital, which means that the programme has been taking place...

Big cheque for Autism Association

16 hours ago | Sports

The Nedbank for Autism Series has again shown spectators far and wide why it is one of the most influential sought after golfing events on...

Things to consider when buying...

16 hours ago | Agriculture

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiCrop farming is an agricultural activity that involves the tilling or cultivation of the land to ensure its preparedness before a farmer...

16 completed projects handed over

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Environment

The Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods Through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBNRM EDA) Project officially handed over 16 completed...

The role of CSR as...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marlize HornCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad term, but in essence it is the ownership that a company takes for its role...

Lifers make bid for early...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected] men sentenced to ultra-long imprisonments including life, are battling to be released on parole after serving more than half of their jail...

Munisipale bateregister uiteindelik in plek

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Government

Windhoek • [email protected] Windhoek munisipaliteit sê sy bateregister is voltooi ten spyte van kommer wat deur die kantoor van die ouditeur-generaal (OG) geopper is dat...

Osona area hit by veld...

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Disasters

Although the veld fires in the area surrounding Windhoek have calmed down recently, several major fires broke out countrywide yesterday. This image shows a fire...

Rolspelers vergader oor straatkinders

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Social Issues

Die ministerie in die presidensie verantwoordelik vir geslagsgelykheid, armoede-uitwissing en maatskaplike welsyn is die gasheer van ’n driedaagse slypskool om ’n oplossing te probeer vind...

Load More