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Hospitality Association gets its first female chair in 34 years

Hospitality Association gets its first female chair in 34 years

Despite struggling through a severely stunted phase, the Namibian hospitality trade made history earlier this month when the General Manager of Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre, Janet Wilson-Moore was elected as the first women to lead the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) in the 34 years of its existence.

Janet has served on the association’s exco as Vice/Congress Chair for the better part of a decade.

For the second year in a row, the hospitality association had to conduct its Annual General Meeting as a digital event where a new exco was one of the main items on the agenda.

Assisting Janet to steer HAN is Mika Shapwanale, the GM of Mushara Lodge, as Vice Chairman. He has been on the HAN Executive for over 6 years and has been instrumental in HAN’s regional roadshows in the North since 2017.

New members to the HAN Executive are:

Mrs Anna Kankondi from OL Leisure /OL Group Manager Stakeholder Relations;

Mr Ally Karaerua, MD of Natural Selection;

Mr Herman Kalipa, owner of Kali Guesthouse, Shuttle & Tours; and

Mrs Suzanne Bonitz, owner of Reservation Destination.

They join Anett Koetting of Taleni Africa Holdings, GM of Hotel zum Kaiser and the HAN Coastal Chair, Johan Fourie of Wilderness Safaris, Ruggero Micheletti of Nkasa Lupala /Jackalberry Camp in Zambezi and Heidi Snyman of Café Anton/Schweizerhaus Hotel and the longest serving HAN Executive and co-founder of the association over 30 years ago.

HAN was founded in 1987 by a small group of only 16 individuals who shared an interest and investment in tourism accommodation in Namibia, mainly from the hotel and guest-farming categories. Over the years, HAN has grown into an association of just under 400 member companies, 300 of which are full members in the direct accommodation business, with a collective estimated capital investment and fixed assets in Namibia of some N$7 billion.

HAN members represents some 7000 rooms and 15 000 commercial beds offered as part of the Namibian tourism product. Most larger groups, hotels and lodge companies have chosen to align with HAN over the years, while HAN prides itself in representing a diversity of players in size, category and location across the entire country.

Following the severe disruptions in the industry in 2020 and 2021, the association’s Chief Executive, Gitta Petzold said they are now working on the HAN Congress, the Tourism Trade Forum and the Tourism Gala. This 2-day combined event is scheduled tentatively for September this year.

Janet Wilson-Moore (top left) is the new chairlady of the Hospitality Association of Namibia. Other members new to the Exco are Ally Karaerua (top right), Herman Kalipa (bottom left) and Suzanne Bonitz.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.