Local tourism expo to be held in Windhoek

By Confidente Reporter

THE ‘Local tourism is lekker’ initiative will be hosting its first expo and networking event, kicking off on the December 1 up to December 3 in Windhoek.

In a press statement, one of the founders Yvonne von Holtz said the event is aimed at providing opportunities for a wide range of tourism service suppliers to introduce and exhibit special offers for the local and SADC market, and for travellers to access affordable Namibian tourism offers.

According to Von Holtz, the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the tourism industry due to the travel restrictions as well as a slump in demand among travellers, which inevitably gave rise to the need for reassessment, restrategising and supportive cooperation.

“With this in mind, we are reserving a hall for tourism service suppliers with the intention of creating a central hub offering them an opportunity to network with customers and distribute rates.”

She said the expo will host a general networking event on December 2 as from 19h00.

“This is for members of the entire tourism sector who wish to exchange ideas and strategies amongst each other.”

She added that freelance tour guides had been badly affected by Covid-19, which forced many to become innovative and offer alternative services and products in an attempt to keep their heads above water.

“So, we wish to extend a helping hand through affording all freelance tour guides a dedicated space at the expo at no cost and through that provide an opportunity to offer and showcase their services and products to the general public.”

She said, at the same time, the expo will also be supporting the entertainment industry whose members were equally affected by Covid-19.

Musicians on the line up to perform at the expo are Izzy Martin, Jacob and Taylor, The Ells, Vaughn Arhens band, Miss H and Riaan Smit.

Local Tourism Is Lekker was founded in March this year by Von Holtz (Magic Destinations) and Nrupesh Soni (Facilit8 Namibia) later joined by Joseph Kafunda (Rafiki Tours and chairperson of Emerging Tourism Enterprises Association) and Heiko Dörgeloh (About Africa Tours).

“The initiative took off very quickly and reached 6 000 members within the first month, with over 2 000 specials posted. This gave many local establishments and tour companies that much needed boost to their morale as well as some form of sustainability.”

According to Von Holtz membership now stands at over 15 000, with over 7 500 active members daily and over 7 500 specials posted so far, along with many local and SADC travellers assisted.

“For the most part the initiative has assisted in getting the average occupancy rates to over 10 percent which otherwise would have been lower due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector.”