Tourism industry performs well in 2017
In 2017, Namibia was able to maintain the high performance and good results attained in the previous year, 2016, with the overall room occupancy in 2017 reaching 58.5%, which is only a 1% point lower than 2016.
Gita Paetzold, Chief Executive officer of the Hospital Association of Namibia said that occupancies in hospitality establishments during the first two quarters of 2017 were on average 2 % higher, than during the same period in 2016, which indicated a shift towards balancing out the load to the traditional low season and this trend must be pursued to alleviate the pressure on the high season in the second half of year.
Namibia has enjoyed an increase of 4% from the German-speaking part of Europe, with a total of over 27% of our visitors coming from that part of the world, while France, Italy, the UK, Spain and Portugal and the United States all showed a slight increase too, proving that the European market still holds great potential for Namibia and remains the key source market for our industry.
Visiting numbers from South Africa decreased by some 1,5% last year to some 11.5% of total guests at our registered establishments coming from SA. Both the performance of the domestic and the SA market seem reflective of the tight economic grip both countries and its people find themselves in.
“While we have managed to retain the good flow of tourists, the seasonal spread is extremely important, as this helps lessen the pressure on service providers in the high season from August to October, during which time Namibia is now already known to the sold out’,with operators finding it extremely difficult to get confirmation on forward bookings for the high season,” Paetzold said.
Meanwhile, the FNB/FENATA Travel Index survey results, show that despite the Tourism Business Survey findings for third quarter of 2017 reflects a general pattern of decline in domestic tourism as associated with economic stagnation, respondents remain stubbornly optimistic of the future outlook.
“Over the past three months, business performance was fairly up to expectations, with the index posting a healthy 27.0% increase when compared to same period last year. Respondents also have a generally positive outlook for the industry’s growth over the next quarter, with 75% stating that it will be either good (51%) or very good (24%),” FNB Analyst, Josephat Nambashu said.