Namibia's tourism sector shows promising growth, business travel rebounds-Xinhua

Namibia's tourism sector shows promising growth, business travel rebounds

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-21 22:20:00

WINDHOEK, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Tourism accommodation in Namibia rose by 7 percent in April compared to the same period last year, signaling encouraging development in the industry, a trade association said on Tuesday.

Namibia experienced a notable increase in tourism activity, with April's national average occupancy exceeding 58 percent, an almost seven percent rise compared to the previous year, said Gitta Paetzold, chief executive of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN).

Paetzold said European markets continue to dominate the Namibian tourism sector, with numbers from various European countries on the rise. However, German-speaking countries still hold a prime position.

"What is exciting to note is that business travel seems to be returning slowly but surely, with over 13 percent of the accommodation registered in April noted as business travel, especially in the hotel segment. Last year, business and conference travel constituted just over 8 percent, while in 2019, business travel made up 13.5 percent of the accommodation numbers and conferencing some 3.6 percent," she added.

With Namibia preparing to host major events in the coming weeks and months, Paetzold expects this trend to continue, particularly in the conference business sector.

However, Paetzold pointed out that the reporting on the camping segment of Namibia's tourism industry remains somewhat understated, despite efforts by the HAN to include this category in its reporting forms. The prevalence of self-drive travelers and the visible presence of campers across the country indicate a higher level of camping activity than officially reported, she added.

Furthermore, Paetzold acknowledged the impact of online booking platforms, which contribute additional streams of business and revenue to Namibia's tourism sector but may not be fully captured in official tourism revenue or tax declarations.

Amid this backdrop, Namibia's tourism industry is currently focusing on "Conscious Travel" and responsible tourism development during the Travel Namibia Festival event, scheduled for Thursday in Windhoek. This one-day festival, presented by Venture Media in partnership with the HAN and the Tour and Safari Association of Namibia, aims to inspire dialogue, collaboration and innovation within the tourism sector.