Change in COVID-19 protocols a positive for the local tourism sector – Research firm
The recent change in COVID-19 protocols is a positive for the local tourism sector, said investment research firm, Simonis Storm Securities (SSS) in a report on hospitality statistics for February released last week.
“We remain positive on seeing an increased number of foreign arrivals given that fully vaccinated individuals may enter Namibia’s borders without a negative PCR test certificate. Namibia and Tanzania are the only SADC member states who allow fully vaccinated foreigners to enter their countries without a PCR test,” the research firm said.
According to SSS, another contributing factor for increased foreign arrivals would be Qatar announcing the resumption of flights to Windhoek by June 2022 and Fly Namibia now offering six flights per week between Cape Town and Windhoek. Eurowings continue to fly between Frankfurt and Windhoek twice a week.
“One crucial downside risk remains unvaccinated staff members at nationwide hospitality establishments, as foreigners more frequently inquire on the vaccination status of front office staff. It becomes more crucial that client-facing staff be fully vaccinated to provide foreigners with peace of mind when visiting hospitality establishments across Namibia,” the firm said.
Meanwhile, a national occupancy rate of 22.5% was recorded in February 2022, compared to 18.5% in January 2022 according to the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN).
According to HAN, during February 2022, 55% of the visitors at local establishments were Namibian, while the majority of the foreign tourists who visited local establishments during February 2022 travelled from Germany, Austria and Switzerland combined (24.4%), South Africa (7.4%), France (1.9%), Benelux (1.8%), the UK and Ireland (1.2%), Asia (1.3%), the US and Canada (0.7%), other SADC (0.2%) and Middle East (0.1%t) among other.