Coronavirus: Hospitality industry in Jeopardy

Up 100% room cancellations as all flights to Namibia are stopped

Estelle de Bruyn

Cancellations of up to 100 percent in the hospitality industry have sent shock waves through the coastal community’s economy.

The economic impact of emergency measures put in place by Pres Hage Geingob after the first two cases of Covid-19 infections were reported in Namibia over the weekend, is already being felt.
The chairman of the Walvis Bay Tourism Forum, Mr. Carlos van der Merwe, told Namib Times some establishments have reported up to 100 percent cancellations.
“Initially we expected cancellations from Europe, but now the South African tourists are also cancelling.
“We have to educate our people so that we can prevent further spreading of the virus. People are scared, and there is reason to be scared.
“The financial concern is big, but our people’s health is more of a concern. We must take care of our people and prevent the spreading of the disease. This should be our priority,” Van der Merwe added.
Many hospitality establishments at the coast have reported over night cancellations of up to 40 percent.
According to Phia Neumann, a reservations agent for O&L, the parent company of the Strand Hotel, cancellations of between 20 and 30 percent have been registered.

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