Hospitality Association’s Paetzold shares room and bed occupancy statistics
The Chief Executive of the Hospitality Association of Namibian (HAN), Gitta Paetzold, recently shared the latest room and bed occupancy statistic report processed by HAN for February, as well as an update for January.
She said they are happy to be able to report on some level of occupancy at the various establishments across the country.
“We are pleased that Namibia still seems to lead in terms of tourism recovery, through only limited travel restriction, the recorded statistics and facts at hand indicate, that tourism performance is still low, compared to previous years,” she explained.
She stated that in February, with accommodation establishments encouraging Namibians to travel the country to witness the beauty of rain-filled rivers and dams, the hospitality sector managed to record an average 20% occupancy, which is however only half of the performance of February last year. “It is also noteworthy, that the majority of guests at establishments this year were Namibians, 71%, who visited the establishments at very special rates and prices, compared to last year, where the number of Namibians constituted only 32%,” she emphasised.
She further informed that visitors from all of Europe this year in February made up of 17% only, while during the same month last year, the accommodation establishments enjoyed almost 48% of Europeans visitors. “It is clear, that there still remains a notable hesitancy to travel, given the varying and ever-changing travel restrictions and regulations across the globe,” added Gitta.
She said even the inter-Africa travel is hampered by insecurity of travel regulations and the lack of harmonised safety and border protocols, with February 2021 reflecting a mere 6% of visitors to Namibia from other African countries, while last year over 11% of Africans stayed at Namibian accommodation establishments during the same month.
“Despite official announcements and good intent to open land borders to neighbouring countries to allow for regional travel, some of our tourism operators are still suffering obstructions, due to border posts effectively closed, especially in the key tourism region of Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA),” she stated.
Gitta advised that for the tourism revival initiative to succeed and Namibia’s tourism industry to recover, a uniform approach to travel and safety protocols is urgently needed. “We as the tourism sector would like to appeal to decision makers and stakeholders to engage with their regional and global counterparts to work towards unified, global travel parameters going forward”
She stated that they are convinced that the successful and effective roll-out of national and global vaccination plans may be a key element to ensure the normalisation of tourism flow across the world and a number of airlines and tourism entities have already indicated that vaccination passes may future be required for travel and service provision.
“The travel and tourism sector is thus increasingly dependent on the vaccination program on behalf of HAN, we would like to wish the Namibian government and its people all the success in rolling out the Namibian Covid-19 vaccination plan, with a number of key tourism stakeholders ready to engage and contribute to the success of this endeavour,” concluded Gitta.