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Tourism players move to resuscitate industry

2021-08-13  Albertina Nakale

Tourism players move to resuscitate industry

In an attempt to revive the hard-hit tourism market, the Namibia Tourism Board will launch a campaign to focus on the domestic market.

The strategy will be launched before the Christmas season to entice Namibians to explore the natural beauty and “barefoot luxury” that their country has on offer. 

NTB CEO Digu //Naobeb said the aim is to catalyse domestic demand with informative and inspirational messaging.

These include four promotions on television, local languages, social media, accompanied by special offers by the private sector, at a cost of N$2.3 million funded by the German state-owned investment and development bank KfW.

On the international market, //Naobeb said the focus shall be on the primary markets, but NTB will continue to penetrate secondary and tertiary markets as wider digital platforms will be used. 

NTB is working in close collaboration with Namibian missions abroad in the identified new tertiary markets.

He noted the roll-out of an effective long-term approach is however dependent on the funding of the NTB. 

Further, he stated the NTB will continue to implement a 360-degree, multi-channel strategic approach to reach the targeted international travellers and will maintain its visibility in the British, Chinese and German-speaking markets, in particular by means of partnerships with leading product brands, to reach millions of consumers in the special interest segment. 

“Thus, NTB will mainly execute activities which will be interlinked to the public relations and media, trade and social media segments to activate consumer demand which will generate more travel to or within Namibia.

For the medium term, he said consideration should be given to attend only the most important trade shows and events in 2021, if the worldwide Covid-19 surge is controlled. 

During this recovery stage, he promised the NTB will re-activate Namibian events, roadshows and fairs under the umbrella of its trade promotion programme.  

On regional markets, NTB’s focus shall be on Namibia’s neighbouring and high-potential regional markets to grow intra-African travel. 

“Focus is on South Africa and Botswana, as residents of these countries are likely to have some disposable income and willingness to travel outside their borders. The marketing approach is more inclined to use both print and electronic media and other social media platforms to incentivise these residents to consider travelling to Namibia post-Covid-19,” //Naobeb indicated. 

The Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) reported 35% of respondents claim to have closed down after the pandemic extended beyond June 2021. HAN CEO Gitta Paetzold said the pandemic impact of June and July 2021 was the worst for Namibian tourism, so the status quo of the tourism sector now is worse than predicted in February 2021. Further, statistics reveal limits of tourism to diversify, except for isolation centres, take-away or other shuttle transport services. 

2021-08-13  Albertina Nakale

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