Africa is still Namibia’s biggest visitor
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)in their latest Tourist Statistical Report revealed that African tourists still constitute the bulk of tourists received in the country. In their latest report the ministry indicated that Africa is the biggest visitor to Namibia as it was during the previous periods.
The report states that tourist arrivals from Africa have continuously increased to 10.4% during the 2012 -2013 period as compared to 2011-2012 period were there was a 5.4% increase. The figures indicate that overall tourist market for Namibia both in 2012 and 2013 was dominated by Africa with Angola in the lead followed by South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Angola takes the lead with more tourists coming in for medicals and business purposes.
According to the most recent foreign and tourist figures, arrivals increased by 5.5% from 2012 to 2013, and the tourist figures increased by 9% for the same year respectively. In 2013, total foreign arrivals accounted for 1 372 602 of which tourists amounted to 1 176 042 representing 86% of all foreign arrivals.
The figures also indicate that Germany still tops the top ten overseas holiday tourist arrivals to Namibia in 2013 as it did in 2012, however a shift was noted in the same category showing that the United States is the second overseas holiday tourist arrival country after the United Kingdom which took second place in the previous year.
Tourist arrivals from North America increased from 2011 to 2013 as a result of the World financial crisis in 2010 and 2011 period. The report indicates a 7.7% increase in 2012 as compared to 6.4% in the previous year. With just over one million tourists coming through the borders in 2013, tourism has increased by 9% as compared to a 5% increase in the 2011-2012 statistics.
The report indicates that most tourists visited during the season between May to September
which accounted for 42% of all tourists travelling to Namibia. The 2012/13 reports indicates that more than half of the tourists entered Namibia through Hosea Kutako International Airport which represents 27.3% mode of transport used, which is preceded by Northern boarders at 31.1%.
The reports also showed a significant increase in visitors from Asia with 9 910 more visitors coming from China in 2013 as compared to 8 830 in 2012 which moved up from 4 085 in the previous year.
Overall Namibia’s top ten biggest tourist markets are Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the United Kingdom, United States of America, France and Portugal.
Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga noted that the figures give the ministry confidence that they are making progress in their efforts to grow and develop the tourism industry as a global sector.
“Without accurate and reliable tourism and reliable tourism statistics it is nearly impossible to navigate our journey towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our long term development goals in Vision 2030. The information generated by these reports thus enables all stake holders to do general planning in the interest of sustainable and competitive growth of the Namibian tourism sector,” he said.
“Much as the figures are positive there is still room for improvement in the Namibian tourism industry especially when it comes to service delivery, we must work on how we treat tourists in order to continue to make Namibia a preferred holiday destination,” he added.
Director of Tourism and Gaming at the ministry Sem Shikongo said the figures indicate a need for more investment in the tourism super structure and infrastructure to support tourism growth and development and a need to prioritize the computerization of all border posts. He also called on other ministries to invite people to come to Namibia as a preferred holiday destination.
According to Lonely Planet which is the world’s greatest travel guide book publisher, Namibia was voted as the second preferred destination in the world after Singapore.