Namibia has received 30 840 tourists from South Africa out of 61 663 between September 2020 to March this year as part of the Tourism Revival Initiative. This represents 50% of tourist arrivals to Namibia during the period.
According to the 2019 statistical report, 17% of the tourist arrivals (1 595 million) were from South Africa.
Tourism ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda yesterday told New Era the unfolding unrest in neighbouring South Africa was regrettable considering that the country is one of Namibia’s major source markets for tourists. According to Muyunda, the unfolding violence was not only disrupting business services but also threatening the safety and security of travellers.
“These events will affect tourism directly. South Africa is also a major supplier of goods and services to Namibia, therefore supply chains or the flow of goods may be interrupted. Again, this will directly affect major economic activities in the country including tourism,” he stated.
According to him, as a preferred tourism destination, the ministry is watching with keen interest and with the hope that the government and relevant authorities in South Africa will indeed find an amicable solution as a matter of urgency. Muyunda stressed in this time of Covid-19, everyone’s collective focus should rather be on fighting the pandemic and come up with innovative ways to ensure affected industries like tourism stay afloat to provide employment to support livelihoods.
South Africa remains on high alert as masses of looters and protestors continue to destroy shopping malls, factories, businesses and private property, in purported protest of the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. Zuma was jailed for 15 months after he was found guilty on a charge of contempt of court.
The South African unrest is a series of ongoing riots and protests in the South African provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that began in Kwazulu-Natal on the evening of last Friday and spread to Gauteng on the evening of 11 July 2021.