Massive 89.4% decline of tourist arrivals in 2020 reported
Namibia recorded a total of 192,026 foreign arrivals for the year ended Dec. 2020, of which 169,565 were recorded as tourists, according to the country’s annual National Tourists Arrival Statistics report released on Wednesday.
The total tourist arrivals of 169,565 represent a massive 89.4% decline in comparison to the 1,595,973 tourist’s arrival of the previous year.
The statistics further reveal that South Africa overtook Angola to become the main African source market providing 28.6% of total tourists to Namibia in 2020, while Germany retained their position as the key overseas tourist market by 11.6% of total tourist arrivals.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the report, Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Tourism, and Forestry, Pohamba Shifeta said the Tourism Revival Initiative (TRI) Statistics Report for the period September 2020 to March 2021 recorded 61,663 tourist arrivals.
“Although these figures are too low to sustain the sector, they are commendable and were worth the efforts of the government to open up our international airport and invite tourists back to Namibia as a safe destination during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Pohamba went on to urge the sector to work together and do more, now that travel restrictions have been lifted, to promote, market, and offer reasonable accommodation prices and attractive products to attract both Namibians and leisure travelers from all over the world.
The minister meanwhile said reviving tourism businesses and managing the recovery in a way that is economically viable, safe, and attractive for tourists will require coordination at all levels.
“The ministry plans to strengthen collaboration and the exchange of information on policies, programs, and possible solutions for the recovery of the industry,” he concluded.