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Shifeta not satisfied with customer service

Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta, Spanish Ambassador to Namibia, Her Excellency Maria del Carmen Diez and Polytechnic of Namibia Rector, Prof Tjama Tjivikua together with delegates from various countries who attended the seminar. (Photograph by Melba Chipepo)

Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta, Spanish Ambassador to Namibia, Her Excellency Maria del Carmen Diez and Polytechnic of Namibia Rector, Prof Tjama Tjivikua together with delegates from various countries who attended the seminar. (Photograph by Melba Chipepo)

Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta has lambasted customer services offered in Namibia. He singled out the tourism sector, saying that the country lacks proper customer service levels for visiting tourists.
Shifeta said customer service is engrained in the country’s national tourism policy, with the guiding principle being the human factor which must be of prime importance. However, according to the deputy, customer service in Namibia still leaves much to be desired.” We Namibians do not do well on customer services. What we are selling in the tourism sector is essentially service, it is all about service, service, and service!” Shifeta exclaimed.
The Deputy Minister, who was speaking at a seminar on Sustainable Tourism in Namibia held in the capital this week, told delegates that training on customer service must be offered in order to improve the services rendered to tourists visiting the country.” We need to do more to become known as a tourism destination that provides superior and exceptional service to its visitors,” said Shifeta.
At the same occasion, Shifeta also touched on the importance of sustainable development and commended the efforts and commitment made by government towards conservation. He said for tourism to prosper, the country should maintain its focus on sustainability.
“Sustainable use and responsible tourism is at the heart of what we do in Namibian tourism and our National Policy on Tourism is very clear on the issue of sustainability in the sector. One of the guiding principles of this policy is that tourism development must be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” he said adding that there are currently many challenges facing the tourism sector which cannot be addressed by only one ministry but requires all stakeholders’ input.
Echoing Shifeta’s sentiments, Spanish Ambassador to Namibia, Her Excellency Maria del Carmen Diez, who also spoke at the same occasion, said a sustainable and responsible tourism industry that invests in gender equality and protects the environment requires the collaboration of all stakeholders. She said even though it is difficult to get funding for projects, Namibia can always count on Spain for support.
Since 2006, the Spanish Cooperation has supported cultural and sustainable tourism programmes for the empowerment of women and youth in rural areas. Other projects funded by Spain include the Kalahari Wild Silk project and Penduka, through the promotion of services and products associated with tourism.
“We are also financing a project with the World Tourism Organisation for gender equality and the empowerment of women through sustainable tourism in Namibia with eight small tourist entrepreneurships in rural areas,” said the Ambassador.

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