Tourist inflows improve in April – International tourists to contribute to ongoing industry recovery- SSS
Tourist inflows improved in April before the commencement of the country’s peak tourism season (May to September), according to a hospitality statistics report for April 2023 released by investment research firm, Simonis Storm Securities (SSS) on Monday.
The occupancy rate in April 2023 across nationwide hospitality establishments stood at 51.8%, compared to 36.5% recorded in the same month last year, which is the highest monthly occupancy rate recorded for 2023 thus far, SSS noted in the report.
According to SSS’s Quarterly Economic Review of quarter 1 2023, tourism is set to be one of the best economic drivers for the remainder of 2023.
“The private sector green hydrogen projects, new aquatic projects such as salmon farming and kelp production in Luderitz, investments in gas pipelines and mining explorations could also feed into boosting the tourism industry,” the firm added in the analysis.
The report noted that 22,610 rooms were sold in April 2023, along with 44,482 beds.
“This is 65 percent lower compared to 65,449 rooms sold in April 2019. The gap between the change in rooms and occupancy rates can be explained by fewer tourism facilities available, as some of them were forced to shut down due to the lockdown put in place,” SSS added.
Leisure tourism continues to be the main driver of tourist inflows, accounting for 98.3% of visitors in April 2023, while business travelers accounted for 1.7% and conference attendees accounted for 0.02%, the firm said.
According to the Hospitality Association of Namibia, the growth in the portion of visitors from Namibia’s main tourist source markets (i.e. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) is partly due to the availability of 10 direct flights each week between Windhoek and Frankfurt. In addition, the weakening Rand exchange rate poses an advantage for foreigners in Namibia as their Euros have more spending power. The inflows from Europe picked up in January of this year and have been on an upward trend since then
“Going forward, we, therefore, expect regional tourist inflows and local tourism to decrease, with international tourist inflows being the main driver of the ongoing recovery in local tourism,” SSS said.