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Collaboration key in driving tourism flow to Namibia

Collaboration key in driving tourism flow to Namibia

By Adolf Kaure.

The Chief Executive of the Hospitality Assosiation of Namibia, Gitta Paetzold said that there are policy bottlenecks like VISA issues preventing tourists from visiting Namibia, when she spoke during the Namibia Tourism Board’s (NTB) draft marketing strategy with industry stakeholders on Thursday in Swakopmund.

According to Paetzold, there are entities like the NTB that ought to start forcefully pushing certain policy changes to make tourism flow more into the country.

“There are Americans flying into Cape Town, taking bus coach or self-drive through Botswana and then they stand at Kasane (in Botswana).”

“They see the beautiful shores of Namibia and want to visit Namibia but because we don’t have Visa facilties at Impalila Island, they can’t access Namibia.”

“So we are losing out big time on the KAZA (Kavanga Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) tourism flow through our neighbouring countries. It is not like we are in competition with Botswana because it is the same product but we have the longest KAZA border, but because of our policies we are losing out,” said Paetzold.

The NTB’s Head of Marketing, Charmaine Matheus said that collaboration with other entities are crucial to ensure that Namibia is an international toursist destination.

According to her, there are various activities and sectors that the NTB seeks to work with in the industry. Some of the entities include FlyNamibia, Team Namibia, and the Namibia Film Commission.

“Another key one for us is the cruise ship industry. For that we have already worked with Namport to promote tourism and to understand what are some of the key challenges that our tourists face when they enter the destination at our ports and how can we enhance that.”

“More importantly, how can the industry capitalise on cruise ship toursim, what are the opportunities there that we can tap into and capitalise on. We do believe that the opportunity is there,” she said.

The source markets which the NTB has tapped into are Europe, the UK and Scandanavia (52%), North America (25%), South America (24%), Mexico and the Caribbean (17%) as well as Africa and the Middle East (14%).

The Namibia Tourism Board is the government agency responsible for bringing together both private and public sector in implementing the national policy for tourism.

HAN Chief Executive Gitta Paetzold (standing) raises her point during the NTB’s draft marketing strategy discussion session. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)

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