Dolphin cruises and Sandwich Harbour tours take hard knock

Dolphin and seal cruises and Sandwich Harbour excursions, two of Walvis Bay’s flagship tourism products, has experienced an overwhelming wave of cancellations since Saturday. The thirty days closure on Saturday with immediate effect of all international flights between Namibia and the air travel hubs Ethiopia, Qatar and Germany resulted in scores of tourists cancelling bookings.

We have trying times ahead”, agreed a prominent stakeholder yesterday.
The fact that air routes are closed means within days there would be virtually no boat- or vehicle activities as there are no tourists. The cruise liner industry over the weekend also cancelled scheduled calls to Walvis Bay indefinitely, further shaving off potential clients for dolphin and seal cruises and for Sandwich Harbour excursions”.
“You can have all the bookings in the world. The hard fact is these people are stuck in their own countries, unable to fly and probably also uncertain of the future given the global Covid-19 outbreak”, said this stakeholder who chose to stay anonymous.
A second stakeholder, who also agreed to speak on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, foresees some tourism business will close down. The result would be retrenchments whilst downstream business activities like the supply of oysters to the operators, catering services, and fuel and spare part purchases would also take a knock.
“It is inevitable that during times such as this the fittest survive and the businesses which do not have the financial resources to bridge the tough times would go down”, he concluded.
It’s not doom and gloom for everyone though. Some of the businesses will use their time to get round those tasks they never have time for during the peak tourism season. These include maintenance, deep cleaning, sending people on leave and conducting…

To read more: pick up your copy of the Namib Times at any retail outlet in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Available in Windhoek at selected stores, at Arandis (Shoprite and Arandis Service Station); Usakos; Henties Bay (Spar; Woermann Brock) and Windhoek (Windhoek: Shoprite Maerua Mall; Shoprite Katutura; Shoprite Ind. Av; Shoprite Lafrenz Industrial; Shoprite Okurayangava; Shoprite U-Save; Fountain OK Foods (Baines); Maerua Superspar).

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