UNWTO head to help revive Namibia’s tourism

By Confidente Reporter

NAMIBIA’S combined efforts of Ambassador to France, Albertus Aochamub, Namibia Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Digu Naobeb and the Tourism Ministry have secured a visit by Secretary  General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili to help revive the tourism sector.

Pololikashvili is set to visit Namibia from the first to the fifth of November and will be received by President Hage Geingob including other government dignitaries.

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His visit according to tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta aims to amongst others strengthen Namibia’s Tourism Revival Strategy and bolster industry and government efforts to to save lives and jobs following the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Shifeta said that like many other countries, the impact of Covid-19 on the Namibian tourism sector was severe with over 100 000 tourism jobs at risk and UNWTO works with Namibia on four key initiatives looking at mitigating the risk.

The four initiatives include an endorsement by UNWTO and UNESCO on Namibia’s draft National Strategy on Sustainable Heritage Tourism to promote  cultural heritage and tourism across many local communities. 

Completion of a Namibian Gastronomy Booklet aimed at introducing the rich and varied Namibian cuisine to the world, preparation of a Namibia Biodiversity and Tourism Project aimed at supporting the country in biodiversity and environmental conservation are amongst the other initiatives.

Publication of a Supplement on Namibian Tourism, which will showcase Namibian tourism products and the gradual re-opening of the country to international visitors is also mooted.

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“Namibia is open for international tourism and wholeheartedly welcomes the Secretary General to our shores.  We remain committed to the work of UNWTO as a member of the Executive Council and an active participant in the programmes of this UN Agency focused on tourism.”

The delegation will visit the World Heritage site of the Namib Sand-Sea in Sossusvlei and the Erongo region during this very brief visit to Namibia.