International Tourism Revival Initiative attracts around 24,000 tourists
Around 23,997 tourists visited the country since the launch of the International Tourism Revival Initiative which commenced on 1 September,1, 2020, an official this week.
The initiative was launched in a move to assist with the country’s tourism recovery, which was hard-hit by the COVID -19 pandemic.
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Heather Sibungo said Namibia recorded a decline of 87% in international tourist arrivals in 2020 and a massive loss of over 1000 jobs were experienced, with some establishments having closed completely, while others have not opened and some are gradually opening.
“Tourism is a socio-economic pillar for Namibia and therefore collective efforts are necessary for us to find solutions and map the way forward to safeguard the future of tourism amid and post COVID-19,” she added.
According to Sibungo Namibia has since improved the capacity in pertinent areas such as laboratory testing of COVID-19 for purposes of traveling, rapid testing is now available and the roll-out of vaccination is now throughout the country.
“The Tourism Task Force continues to engage strategic stakeholders for relevant interventions as and when required. The government continually adapts to development around the world and ready to move with time and take necessary decisions and actions in a responsible manner and in the interest of the tourism sector and Namibia at large,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sibungo said as part of the initiative, various avenues were identified to best achieve both the short-term and long-term goals of the broader recovery effort such as a Private-Public Partnership Plan for tourism recovery.
Namibia is scheduled to host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa for the Swift Recovery of the Tourism Sector from 14 to 16 June and around 50 to100 international delegates are expected.