Select Page

Tourism industry suffers occupancy levels of below 10% during June

Tourism industry suffers occupancy levels of below 10% during June

According to the Hospitality Association of Namibia, the occupancy levels in local hotels, lodges bed & breakfasts, camps, guest houses & backpackers were below 10% in June, and as low as less than 5% occupancy in the second quarter of 2020.

Gitta Paetzold, CEO of the Association said while the contribution of the domestic travel market is highly valued, the tourism sector will need the influx of foreign exchange earnings and the numbers of travellers to help us reach occupancy levels to above 50% again to help the tourism industry break even.

“This can never be achieved through local and regional travel, not in good times, and never in the very hard financial times we in Namibia currently find ourselves in, where it has become a challenge for most to pay school fees and other expenses, let alone to spend on leisure and luxury,” Paetzold said.

In March this year, there was a general feeling of shell-shock, and with the national lockdown following so soon after the travel ban, all keen to see this all blow over. In May, Namibia was fortunate enough to be able to see the hospitality sector return to business, and in June, restaurants were able to resume the popular wine and dine service.

There were concerted efforts for domestic tourism promotion with attractive packaging and pricing to encourage Namibians to travel and experience Namibia through the first ‘tourism begins at home’, ‘local is lekker’, and other domestic tourism campaigns since 2006 run in joint efforts with the tourism ministry, the Namibia Tourism Board and the industry at large.

“We in tourism were grateful to see some Namibians take up this offer, hopeful that we could win them over as good ambassadors for tourism in Namibia. The reality though is clear: as much as domestic tourism is a key element for our sector, however, for tourism in Namibia to survive, we need the resumption of leisure travel and the re-opening of borders,” Paetzold said.


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