Ad Top Banner

Govt calls for new business models to revive tourism

September 27, 2022 579

The government has urged players in the tourism and hospitality industry to rethink their strategies and target new international markets to boost the sector.

Namibia’s tourism industry was significantly decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic and industry experts have been calling for the country to implement a post-Covid-19 plan to attract new visitors and save jobs.

Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Heather Sibungo said with many livelihoods in jeopardy, it is time to rethink, transform, and safely restart tourism.

"With the right safeguards in place, the tourism sector can provide decent jobs, helping to build resilient, sustainable, gender-equal, inclusive economies and societies that work for everyone. The restart of tourism will help kick-start the recovery and growth. It is essential that the benefits are enjoyed widely and fairly," she said.

She stated that the Ministry has developed the Tourism Recovery Plan, which aims to reboot the sector over the next three years, foster growth, and address constraints associated with the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sibungo, however, noted that rethinking one of the world's major economic sectors will be difficult, but the government and stakeholders are willing to see it through in order to reap the much-needed benefits of this sector.

"Crisis has inspired many and catalysed creativity and to an extent, the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of work, bringing both challenges as well as enormous opportunities to ensure even more people get to benefit from tourism’s restart process. The potential of tourism is enormous, and we have a shared responsibility to make sure it is fully realised," she said.

The deputy minister made the remarks at the World Tourism Day Celebrations in Omuthiya under the local theme “Promoting heritage/cultural experience to harness sustainable tourism”.

The World Tourism Day 2022 celebrations come at a time when the tourism sector is recovering from the social and economic impact of Covid-19 and the decline in international tourist arrivals recorded in previous two years, 2020 and 2021 respectively, is a major shock for developed economies.

"Namibia continues to experience from late 2021 to second quarter of 2022, a growing trend in tourism arrivals. This is a positive outlook and we should continue to make Namibia an attractive destination through value addition by introducing new tourism services and products especially the heritage tourism and gastronomy," Sibungo said.

Tourism is one of Namibia's success stories, with the tourism industry providing various entry points for women's employment as well as opportunities for self-employment in small and medium-sized income-generating activities.

Furthermore, tourism services in Namibia provide opportunities for a wide range of economic activities at the local and regional levels.

According to Sibungo, this is a remarkable trademark of the tourism industry, which is known for its “multiplier effects”.

Namibia is a global leader in facilitating public-private tourism partnerships with communities that have established successful communal conservancies.

The minister, however, stated that more needs to be done and urged the private sector to invest more in local conservancies and community-based tourism enterprises, as well as develop and promote cultural and heritage tourism by including these people-centred services and products in their travel itineraries.

"The government will continue to make an effort to create a conducive and enabling environment for all the stakeholders to participate and to grow the sector from strength to strength. I call on the communities to partake in tourism and take advantage of the heritage tourism product development in the rural areas to benefit our people," she added.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2022 04:46