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Overall occupancy of 53% in 2019 welcomed by hospitality association

Overall occupancy of 53%  in 2019 welcomed by hospitality association

The Hospitality Association of Namibia’s CEO, Gitta Paetzold welcomed the slow growth of 53.5% in 2019 from 2018’s 52.55% recorded in the tourism accommodation sector saying it is still good news given the generally negative perception by Southern African tourism stakeholders during the past year.

Paetzold stressed the current performance is seen as positive, given the remarkable increase in availability on the market through new facilities and the prevalence of unregistered online offerings for accommodation.

Namibia’s tourism accommodation facilities have last seen 60% occupancy in 2016, however, Paetzold expressed delight that a 30% increase in submission of occupancy reports could be achieved from its members during 2019.

While for years, Namibia has been battling with high seasonality in tourism, most of the visitors coming to Namibia from July to October, 2019 for the first time seems to see a slight reverse in this trend, – with a remarkable increase of 6% in occupancy during the second quarter, (April to June), and 2% increase in the first quarter, both of which compensated for the slight decline in occupancy in the traditional high season, (July-October).

“This may be an indication, that Namibia is slowly but surely establishing itself as an “all year round” travel destination,” Paetzold said.

Furthermore, according to the Hospitality Association’s statistics, leisure travel remains the main purpose of visit of those frequenting hotels, lodges, guest houses, camps and other accommodation facilities throughout the country. The market has increased by some 3% during 2019.

However, the business and conference sector, both showed a decline in 2019, a clear indication that organisations and businesses are struggling.

“The decline in business and conference is an indication of struggling businesses and a challenge for Foreign Direct Investment, as it would mean a generally lower appetite of investment in tourism,” the Association’s Chairman Shepherd Chinhoi said.

Key leisure travel markets for Namibia remain Central Europe, with Germany, Austria and Switzerland again the highest, representing almost 30% of all occupancies, with an additional 12% from the Benelux, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Meanwhile, the South African market filled some 8% of the accommodation, while Namibians are also showing increasing appetite for travel through their country, with over 26% of rooms occupied by Namibians last year.

“The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus in China and its effects on the international travel sector is case in point of how fast the tourism industry can be impacted, – and it is vital that everyone keeps focus on facts to ensure that we do not fall victim of false information and panic reactions, which could be detrimental to tourism,” Paetzold said.

In June the Association will hold its annual Congress with a focus on the scope and potential of developing the Tsau //Khaeb National Park in southern Namibia, and together with the Ministry of Environment & Tourism and the Namibia Tourism Board, will look at ways to carefully open up the former “Sperrgebiet” for some very special and unique tourism experiences.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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.