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Tourism first quarter records rise

The first quarter figure was 17% higher than the same period last year, which means that the tourism industry had a better first quarter than usual, despite the fact that the measure of tourism activity in the country fell by 1.7% from the previous quarter on the back of lower seasonal demand, according to FNB Namibia and Fenata’s tourism index.
Namene Kalili, Senior Researcher at FNB Namibia advised that the sector performance had been boosted by a weaker local currency as it had lost ground against the Euro and the US Dollar and travel to Namibia had been 6% cheaper for tourists from Europe and America.
He added, “The local tourism sector continues to adjust to a turbulent global tourism market. And although international demand is under growing pressure, domestic demand is growing due to accommodation inflation remaining well below household income growth.

With economic growth estimated to strengthen over the medium term, the tourism industry is expected to remain a driver for economic growth, while generating increased export earnings for the country. Domestic investment is also on the increase in order to cater for more discerning clients.”
When looking at business performance the index states that it improved from fair to good over the past two quarters and this improvement had been underpinned by increased tourist spend at accommodation establishments. Revenue outturn improved from fair to good, with two thirds of the respondents reporting well to very good revenue outturn. This was mainly on account of the local currency translation.
Kalili said that there had been an increase in local tourists, who accounted for 49% of the customers as opposed to 43% at the same period last year. Tourist numbers are expected to strengthen over the next quarter.

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