SWAKOPMUND - Thousands of holidaymakers descended on Namibia’s coastal towns of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay over the summer holiday.
While there appears to be an increase in the amount of people spending the festive season at the three main coastal towns of Erongo Region, visitors from Botswana have, however, earned praise from the local tourism industry.
The Namibian coastal towns have become a major holiday destination for holidaymakers from the landlocked Botswana over the years.
The coastal tourism industry said the number of visitors from the neighbouring country continues to increase every year, with hundreds of holidaymakers arriving via buses to explore the coastal scenic beauty.
The tourism industry also capitalised on the arrival of the passenger liner Aida Mira last week, which arrived via the port of Walvis Bay, carrying 1 301 passengers and 800 crew members.
The vessel is the first of seven other passenger vessels that are expected to call the Port of Walvis Bay in January 2020 and bring more than 10 000 tourists to the coast.
Speaking to New Era this week, Archie van der Merwe from Laramorn Tours, who specialises in 4x4 excursions, said they are impressed with the massive increase of visitors from Botswana and international tourists who visited the country during the festive season.
“Overall, I am in awe of the Batswana. They are fantastic supporters of Namibia, although they are a handful.
These guys arrived in hundreds and I am sure more would visit our country throughout the year,” Van der Merwe explained. He added that South African tourists to Namibia are also on the increase again, while international tourists still tops the list. “One can now say that although we did not see any notable growth, the sector is stable and that is excellent for the industry,” he said.
Desert Explorers Adventures Centre in Swakopmund also indicated that tourists from the SADC region, especially from Botswana and Zambia, are increasing every year, although international tourists and South African remain their top visitors.
The centre also indicated that they had a good festive season, which was also one of their busiest.
Alter-Action Sandboarding in Swakopmund also reported a good holiday season. “Overall, I have to agree with all the tourism industry that our tourism industry is stable and profitable, as people love the fact that we are a safe country with breathtaking tourism features and activities,” said a company representative who did not want to be named.
Meanwhile, Erongo community policing commander Ileni Shapumba indicated only one incident involving a tourist was reported during the festive season. He indicated that the tourist was robbed of his cell phone and wallet, but it was recovered, while the suspect was arrested.
Eveline de Klerk
2020-01-08 08:01:33 | 13 days ago