New hotel for Swakopmund
Construction which is already in full swing commenced on 1 June. The building site which is on the corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and Nathaniel Maxuilili Streetis 4072 m² and completion of the project is expected to be in about 18 months.
Gondwana said this week “it will be bright, fresh and trendy, and it will perfectly fit the urban image of the coastal town. Architect Sven-Erik Staby has made provision for plenty of green space and parking. The hotel will sport 54 double rooms, which does not seem a lot compared to the size of the grounds.”
“When we planned the hotel complex it was very important to us that it should be bright and spacious”, said Gondwana’s Operations Director, Alain Noirfalise. “The rooms are larger than average and they are fully air-conditioned to ensure that our guests will be comfortable whether a bergwind or a stiff southwester is blowing.”
The Development Bank’s Head of Lending John Mbango said, “Tourism is one of the areas where DBN expects to make an impact, as noted in its 5-year strategic plan until 2018. The hotel in Swakopmund exemplifies the type of projects that DBN seeks to finance.”
Mbango said, “The hotel is expected to create 32 permanent jobs, but the development benefits extend further than this. Immediately during the construction phase, the hotel will create employment opportunities in the construction industry, as well as income generating opportunities for enterprises which support the contractor, and additional associated employment benefits.”
“There is severe pressure on accommodation in Swakopmund during the international tourism high season in the second two quarters of the year, and the sustainability of an accommodation establishment of this nature is also supported by high regional demand for beds during December and over Easter,” Mbango said.
“Once fully operational, the hotel will bring the benefits directly associated with tourism, which includes opportunities for tour operators in Namibia and activity operators and hospitality and retail outlets at the coast. The additional beds in Swakopmund will give greater certainty to tour operators who need accommodation in Swakopmund to ensure their own operations in other parts of the country as well,” he added.
This supplemental approach is echoed by Noirfalise when he explained why the hotel will offer breakfast only. “There are so many good restaurants in walking distance that we decided against offering dinner,” he said.
According to the Economic Outlook Report for July 2014, published by the Bank of Namibia, the outlook for tourism is currently weak due to uncertainty in Namibia’s main tourism markets, but is expected to improve during 2015. This dovetails with the projected completion of the new hotel.