New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Domestic tourism has untapped potential - NWR 

Domestic tourism has untapped potential - NWR 

2022-01-05  Paheja Siririka

Domestic tourism has untapped potential - NWR 

Since the first detection of Covid-19 cases in March 2021 in Namibia, the pandemic has wreaked havoc in the tourism sector.

The two years of damage is noticeable but some institutions are navigating through it.

(NWR) reported an increase in its occupancy during the festive season from 21% in 2020 to 22% in 2021.

Between 1 December 2021 and 1 January 2022 Okaukuejo received 3 245 occupants.

“What the December 2021 preliminary figures show is that domestic tourism has untapped potential. If it was not for the Omicron variant detected late last year, which affected travel, especially for the domestic market, the 28% occupancy for Dec 2021 would have been higher than the 29% of Dec 2020,” said NWR’s spokesperson Nelson Ashipala.

He said the preliminary figures for the festive period, December 2021, show a decrease of one percentage point, from 29% in 2020 to 28% in Dec 2021. 

Ashipala further noted that the lesson from the effects of the pandemic on the sector is to continue developing the domestic and regional (SADC) tourism markets instead of singularly relying on the international market. 

“NWR will continue to stimulate domestic travel through initiatives such as specials and packages,” he assured.

Nrupesh Soni, the founder of the Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum (NTTF), which is yet to be launched later this month told New Era domestic tourism, which includes SADC, is very critical for the revival and sustainability of the industry.

“Having NWR along with other companies offering specials is what has helped the industry. And we also hope that it stays on even when tourism has recovered so that the locals don’t feel left out again.

“The industry has seen steady growth and if it wasn’t for the Omicron variant, we would have had a much bigger and faster recovery. However, currently, we are seeing a big rise in numbers and bookings, mainly from self-drive tourists,” said Soni.

The NTTF has been active since January 2021 and in September 2021 also signed an agreement with the tourism ministry to bring in new initiatives and digitalisation to the industry.

“In the past year, the platform has been actively updating tourists and tourism companies on the regulations and industry happenings as well as advocating in having regulations changed by writing letters to the governments of UK and others to get Namibia off the red list. So far, the feedback had been extremely positive and supportive from the majority of the industry and related government institutions,” Soni said.

 He noted that with the presence of the pandemic and a lot of other issues limiting the containment of the virus, it is good to know the line ministry is being creative and open to ideas so that new ways of doing things can be embraced.

“The forum is an open platform providing education, information and support for the entire industry. We are shying away from the traditional model of associations where only a few paying members benefit. The forum is self-sustained and will be sponsored by companies who are not directly in tourism, thereby eliminating any bias,” he said. 


2022-01-05  Paheja Siririka

Share on social media