Albertina Nakale Windhoek Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta has applauded the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) for making great progress owards becoming profitable. Over the years, Shifeta has demanded that NWR become a profitable state-owned enterprise and stop being a consistent drain on state coffers. Shifeta has been quoted saying the shareholders must get returns on their investment in the institution, because it has well-developed infrastructure and was arguably the largest player in the local tourism sector. Shifeta, who launched the 2016 Tourist Statistics Report yesterday, said NWR can now at least serve their liabilities and overhead costs: “They are now doing well. They can sustain themselves. It’s not like when they use to come that their workers are not paid. Their camps are now full. They will definitely realise a profit and will address the issues of deplorable facilities.” Shifeta said it was high time those benefiting from government facilities around national parks help to upgrade those facilities, such as ablution blocks. He said government cannot be expected to upgrade such facilities while it is already maintaining the national parks. “We hope things will be done properly. I am not happy with what I see. The facilities are in a deplorable situation. We need to make a priority and address it,” he maintained and also expressed disappointment over the country’s airports, especially Hosea Kutako International Airport, which he described as “very disappointing”. He said Namibia gets a lot of tourist arrivals, but people including the elderly have to stand in long queues and sometimes also endure the scorching heat due to inadequate immigration checkpoints. He said Namibia has brought big airlines on board but the facilities for efficiently handling travellers are too small. ‘We need to address these things. We are informed about budget constraints. It can’t go on like this. Our tourists are getting frustrated, especially if it’s rainy season, or the heat. Imagine, the crash of the system from someone coming from North Pole,” he stressed. He also questioned the quality of training offered by hospitality training centres, saying customer service in Namibia is rather poor.
2017-12-15 09:11:32 9 months ago