Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) arrivals improved from a deep decline to register a slight improvement on an annual basis, but the country’s main international travel hub is by no means out of the woods yet. The continuing impact of the Covid pandemic and global travel restrictions saw HKIA arrivals improve from -60.51% to -46.98%, year-on-year for May 2021.
According to an analysis by research entity High Economic Intelligence (HEI), in actual numbers, arrivals increased from 381 recorded for May 2020 during the initial lockdown at the advent of Covid-19 to 11 217 recorded for May 2021.
“The upturn is as a consequence of the absence on international travel restrictions and the easing of global travel restrictions on the back of the vaccination rollouts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the HEI stated.
Meanwhile, the outlook for international travel remains uncertain as Namibia remains a hotspot for Covid-19.
Namibia’s central bank last month stated in its quarterly bulletin that during the first quarter of 2021, activity in the tourism sector remained subdued, year-on-year, as reflected in the decrease in the number of international and regional airport arrivals.
The Bank of Namibia indicated that the number of international and regional passengers arriving at Namibian airports registered a significant decline of 79.2%, year-on-year, while it increased significantly by 175.3%, quarter-on-quarter.
“International arrivals decreased by 78.3%, year-on-year, but rose significantly by 159.3%, quarter-on-quarter, during the first quarter of 2021. Similarly, the number of regional airport arrivals decreased by 79.9%, year-on-year, while it increased immensely by 189.6%, quarter-on-quarter, over the same period,” reads the report.
The year-on-year decline in arrivals was largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely affected the tourism sector. A significant quarter-on-quarter rise, on the other hand, was largely due to an easing in travel restrictions as the economy gradually opened up. -firstname.lastname@example.org