THE tourism sector believes that a key element to consider in boosting Namibia’s attractiveness as a top destination would be to allow fully vaccinated people to enter the country without subjecting them to the same tests as those not vaccinated.
Chief Executive Officer of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Gitta Paetzold, explained that Namibian tourism is of the view that granting vaccinated people beneficial status is also most likely to boost the national vaccination campaign, as incentives and benefits are believed to help convince people to get vaccinated.
Although 45% of guests to accommodation facilities are Namibians, the EU remains a key source market with over 38% of the guests coming from various European countries, while over 10% of guests came from South Africa – a clear sign that Namibia’s traditional source markets are keen and committed to return to Namibia.
According to Paetzold, with the upcoming Festive Season and the potential Namibia has in attracting visitors from South Africa, it is imperative to reconsider the stringent regulations on expensive positive covid result tests, as these tests add huge financial costs for family travel, and might ruin Namibia’s chances of benefiting from the South African market.
Paetzold confirmed that the tourism sector is actively engaged in diverse marketing efforts, both locally and abroad, through virtual and some welcome face-to-face trade engagements with key markets, to ensure that Namibia remains top of mind of the global traveller.
She added that the tourism industry in Namibia continued to show a positive growth, with numerous tourists on tour throughout the country and car rental companies running out of stock as demand continues to increase
“As for the accommodation sector, due to growing demand, there are currently very attractive job and career opportunities opening up in this sector, with many establishments looking for skilled staff in housekeeping, guest relations and middle-management,” indicated Paetzold.