Upgrades essential

29 October 2018 | Infrastructure

With more and more visitors travelling to Namibia, there is an urgent need to upgrade the Hosea Kutako International Airport, according to environment and tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta.

He made these comments while speaking at the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) industry briefing in Windhoek on Thursday, saying international travellers’ desire to visit our country has increased, creating a need for the airport to conform to international standards.

“We are all aware of the emergency measures that have been taken by Cabinet to ensure the upgrading of the airport,” he said.

Shifeta said to fulfil Namibia’s potential, key challenges such as infrastructure development, travel visa facilitation and the full use of modern technology to maximise marketing and services needs to be addressed. “Infrastructural concerns such as airport carrying capacities, road and rail networks, ports and telecommunication are already being addressed,” he said. However, success of tourism as a driver of sustainable development, will depend on policies, strategies and investment that meet the sector’s needs, as well as create an overall business environment that is conducive for growth.”

Shifeta added that the goal is to position Namibia as a preferred destination that offers quality products and services. “To achieve this, we must ensure that the quality of products and services provided by our service providers corresponds to the branding strategy of the country to be able to attract and retain tourists.”

At the same event, NTB’s chief executive Digu //Naobeb said Namibia must focus on the tourism industry, which still remains labour intensive. “Competition from competitively priced new tourist destinations is increasing at a time when our industry is facing challenges such as access to funding, training needs and poor customer service.”

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