Select Page

More sustainable approach needed to capitalize on visiting passenger liners

More sustainable approach needed to capitalize on visiting passenger liners

By Adolf Kaure.

The Executive Director in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Teofilus Nghitila said that stakeholders in passenger liner services need to bolster their efforts to benefit from the arrival of the ships and make the sector more sustainable in Namibia.

Nghitila said this during the recent docking of the Queen Mary II passenger liner which brought approximately 2500 tourists to in Walvis Bay on Saturday.

“In line with the tourism recovery plan, we are seeing an increase in the arrival of passenger liners to Namibia. We have observed with concern that emerging operators are not fully benefitting from the arrival of these cruise liners. Therefore, there is a need for us as stakeholders to re-organize ourselves, to ensure that benefits are streamlined to all players in the sector from well-established to emerging,” he said.

The tourism ministry has put together a Game Plan, which indicates the arrival of different passenger liners docking at NAMPORT up to 2025.

The Executive Director further emphasized the importance of excellent customer service from all stakeholders to the occupants of passenger liners as being the catalyst to the sector’s sustainability.

“Maximum benefits from the increasing tourists can only be achieved if our taxi operators, vendors, immigration officials are capacitated on customer service.”

“The ministry has introduced the customer service excellence initiative that intents to target key partners at grassroot level to ensure sustainability of the sector as well as improving the Namibian Competitiveness Index,” said Nghitila.

Tourism as a whole is now the third largest GDP contributor to the Namibian economy. The growth has seen an increase in the number of international tourist arrivals from 254,978 in 1993 to 1,595,973 in 2019, before the impact of COVID-19.

As highlighted in the Namibia Tourism Satellite Account Report (2022) The Covid -19 Pandemic, specifically from 2020 to 2021 had a devastating impact on the tourism industry in Namibia.

International tourist arrivals declined by 89% (2020), resulting in the temporary and permanent closure of numerous businesses in the sector, and widespread loss of jobs, amongst others.

To revitalize the sector, the Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism developed a Namibia Tourism Sector Recovery plan (2022-2024).

“Strategic intervention calls for attraction of new geo- and special segments of the global travel markets and to grow the cruise liner industry in collaboration with key stakeholders.”

“The strategy calls for synergy among the sector to enhance competitive advantage for Namibia as a preferred destination.”

“Beside the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is faced with the challenge of crime against tourists that requires all clusters’ efforts,” said Nghitila.

He stated that despite Ministry embarking on a countrywide Tourists Safety Awareness Initiative to combat crime against tourists, more must be done to alleviate crime.

“This campaign, among others, is aimed at sensitizing communities about the importance of tourism and how it affects livelihoods and the country’s economic outlook.”

“Educating communities, taxi operators, tour operators, tour guides and key stakeholders is significant to combat crime against tourists.”

“This responsibility must not be left to the law enforcement agencies alone, but collaborative efforts are required,” he said.

More passenger liners are expected at the port this month as Resilient Lady and Zuiderdam are expected to dock at the port on Friday 19 April and Monday 22 April, respectively.

Images by Adolf Kaure.


About The Author