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Tourism think tank resolves to find ways out of the seasonal bottleneck to improve revenues for the full year

Tourism think tank resolves to find ways out of the seasonal bottleneck to improve revenues for the full year

During the tourist peak season, Namibian establishments can not handle the surge in visitors. But during the quiet season, the sector struggles to survive, facing low occupancy rates and severely diminished revenues.

Workable strategies to overcome this restrictive bottleneck will be one of the main goals of the annual congress hosted by the Hospitality Association of Namibia. Describing the major annual event as a tourism think tank, the association said this week the HAN Tourism Awards and congress is scheduled for next week, 21 and 22 June, in Swakopmund. The theme is Meeting of Minds to Discover the Hidden Gems of Namibia. The congress was launched earlier this week at an event where all the sponsors were named.

The association’s chief executive, Gitta Paetzold and its vice chairperson, Janet Wilson-Moore, said Namibia is often depicted by international operators and agents as the best sold-out destination, but that only applies during long holidays in Europe and the United States. When actual occupancy rates for the full year are reviewed, the notion quickly vanishes.

“We want to find new things to give to our tourists. The generational changes among tourists mean that they are looking for more meaningful experiences and interactions with the communities and environment around them. We want to be able to give new offerings and spread out the bookings into the off-peak season as there is a bottleneck,” Wilson-More stated.

Delegates at the annual congress will look critically at the many misconceptions prevalent in the sector, especially from outsiders. The overriding goal is to grow niche markets and label tourism, to continue growing the sector so that it can increase its socio-economic contribution and its direct injection to the economy. The association said it is estimated that tourism contributes about 15% to the overall economy, but this figure is notoriously difficult to substantiate since the sector straddles both the services and the retail segments.

Representing the main sponsor, Standard Bank, its Head of Business Banking, Karen van der Merwe said they recognise and appreciate the vital role of tourism in the economy. The bank sees the vast potential for growth that tourism offers, stating that this is the reason why it is a long-standing sponsoring partner of the Hospitality Association.

“The organisation has become a pillar in the hospitality and tourism industry because they work to influence policy making to optimise its growth,” she said adding that their relationships has come a long way. “Standard Bank is pleased to be on board to make the annual congress a reality with our sponsorship of N$80,000 this year,” she said.

The congress is also sponsored by Namibia Breweries, Air Namibia, Bannerman Resources and Marsh Namibia.

Caption: Karen van der Merwe (left), Standard Bank’s Head of Business Banking, and its Head of Marketing, Communication and CSR, Magreth Mengo (right) were delighted to hand their very substantial sponsorship to Janet Wilson-Moore, the vice chairperson of the Hospitality Association of Namibia, for its annual congress scheduled for next week Thursday and Friday in Swakopmund.


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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.