Namibia records highest occupancy rate since Covid outbreak

June 20, 2022 287

Tourists are slowly flocking back to Namibia after the country recorded a national hotel occupancy rate of 39.4% in May 2022, latest figures from the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) show.

This is the highest national occupancy rate since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak hit the country more than two years ago.

According to HAN, the 39.4% occupancy rate is the first monthly data point to come in higher than February 2020. The May figure was also higher compared to 36.5% in the prior month and 25.1% in May 2021

"The national occupancy rate averages 29.1%, compared to 22.5% for the same period in 2021, showing an improvement in bookings made with nationwide hospitality establishments," HAN said.

Despite these encouraging signs, the proportion of Namibian visitors at local establishments remains on a declining trend, with 30.6% of guests being locals in May 2022, compared to 37.7% during the prior month and 83.3% in 2Q2020.

Most visitors/guests in May 2022 came from Germany, Switzerland and Austria (32.1%), South Africa (8.5%), France (7.9%), Benelux (4.8%) and the UK and Ireland (2.7%) during May 2022.

"As specials to locals disappear and tourist inflows improve, we see a higher proportion of foreigners – who arguably have great spending power – benefiting local hospitality establishments and leading to positive spill-over effects in other industries such as financial services (e.g. foreign exchange counters), retail, automotive industry (e.g. rentals), restaurants, informal businesses (e.g. crafts) and general services amongst other," Simonis Storm Economist Theo Klein said.

Regarding the purpose of travel into Namibia, 94.6% of tourists came for leisure, 2.8% for business and 2.6% for conferences.

The country also recorded a total of 43,012 foreign arrivals at all nationwide airports, compared to 18,360 during the same period last year.

Foreign and regional arrivals increased by 129% year on year and 80.5% year on year, respectively.

"This represents a significant recovery in tourist flows and could be the results of aggressive marketing by various stakeholders in attracting foreigners to Namibia, declining Covid-19 cases globally and new airline routes to Namibia being offered," said Klein

He added that regional arrivals typically exceed foreign arrivals in the first months of each year, however foreign arrivals have been lower than regional arrivals since January 2021.

“This potentially indicates that overseas travellers are more cautious in choosing their holiday destinations or face more stringent travel limitations compared to regional tourists."

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 23:03