Namibia experiencing growth in visitors

• BY Confidente Newspaper

ACCORDING to the electronic Border Management System, Namibia received a total of 396,676 foreign arrivals this year from 1 January to 31 October, an official highlighted this week.

“From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 Namibia received a total of 198,227 visitors/tourists which is 49.9% of the total foreign arrivals while 81,182 (20.4%) of the foreign arrivals visited friends and relatives. These figures show an accumulative growth of visitor arrivals in 2022 and are better as compared to 2021 of the same periods,” the Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT), Heather Sibungo said at the official opening of the 22nd edition of the Namibia Tourism Expo 2022.

Sibungo said the major source markets in quarter three of 2022 were Germany, South Africa, France, Italy, Netherlands, the UK, the USA, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, and Angola.

According to Sibungo, Namibia will continue to support the tourism sector to attract more visitors, as the success of the sector has a positive impact on the country’s economy.

“An event of this magnitude is good for tourism development and destination marketing, more especially as we endeavor to recover the sector from the impact of the pandemic,” she said in a statement while welcoming delegates and exhibitors.

The three-day tourism expo from Thursday to Saturday serves as a platform for all service providers, suppliers, tour operators, travel agents, consumers, destination marketing organisations, and media to promote and market their products and services to each other and directly to the consumers.

Sibungo said the sector remains cautious as the World Tourism Organization continues to call for stronger coordination on travel protocols between countries to ensure the safe restart of tourism and avoid massive losses for the sector.

“Due to the unprecedented socio-economic impacts of the pandemic on the tourism sector, the MEFT has developed a Namibia Tourism Sector Recovery Plan 2022-2024 to revive the sector, setting out a national framework of a strategic approach to the recovery process with required policy intervention, strategic programs and activities aimed at rebooting the sector, post-COVID-19,” she concluded.