Negative publicity to affect tourism
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Simeon N Negumbo, issued a statement that called upon the nation and the international community to ignore the inaccurate, false reports and assumptions about the elephants and their sustainable utilisation practices.
Recent articles titled “Do not allow trading the lives of rare Desert Elephants for political votes in Namibia”, were published accusing the government of secretly selling hunting permits for elephants in the Kunene Region for the ruling SWAPO Party to get political support from the communities in the region.
In response to questions addressed to him by the Economist, Mufaro Nesongano, Manager Corporate Communications and on line Media, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), said that it would be wrong for them[MET] not to say that this article circulating around did not negatively affect the way tourist view of the Namibia, but he emphasised that the public and the visitors need to know that at times there will be organisations and individuals who regardless of the facts on the ground choose to write negative stories for reasons only know to them.
“As citizens we need to be aware that Namibia is fast becoming a prime tourist destination due to events we have hosted in the past and the peach we enjoy as a country,” said Nesongano.
He added that the media plays a big role in sensitising the public on the true facts so that they may not be misguided.
He commented on the poaching and said that the Namibia Wildlife Resorts have been open with information according to the laws that governs us and they respect the way the law enforcement entities work so that when they communicate with the public, media and other entities they do not leave out the important facts.
“The international and local media have thus far followed what has been happening in the country, with special attention to poaching and at no time have the NWR with held any information that we think the public need to be aware of,” said Nesongano. He said the Namibia Wildlife Resorts have an open door policy on keeping their valued clients and stakeholders informed with what is taking place in the country. The Namibia Wildlife Resorts is a State owned enterprise, mandated to run the tourism facilities within the protected areas of Namibia. Its only shareholder is the government.