Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta on Friday said the country seeks to revive its tourism sector to its pre-COVID-19 status and urged the tourism sector to diversify its offerings to include cultural and heritage tourism experiences.
Speaking at the launch of the Tourism Expo Calendar Events for 2023, Shifeta said that tourist arrivals remain low, representing only about 15 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, and are not enough to regain employment numbers in the sector.
“I would like to call on the tourism sector to diversify and market Namibia in other untapped source markets so that we diversify the source markets and lure special niche markets with high yield in order to increase the tourist arrivals and tourism earnings, and neutralize the high seasonality patterns in the sector,” Shifeta said.
Namibia has already implemented targeted programs as part of its tourism recovery plan, Shifeta said, adding now it requires the support of stakeholders to ensure swift recovery of the sector in the next two years.
The plan’s strategic interventions include marketing campaigns to promote the country as a tourist destination and diversification of source markets.
Namibia has engaged with civil aviation authorities at a national and continental level to improve air connectivity to Namibia, Shifeta said.
The country is set to host the 5th edition of the Africa Youth in Tourism Summit at the end of May, which will focus on innovation and youth entrepreneurship to help build the tourism knowledge economy. ■