Domestic Tourism Campaign out of the starting blocks

Sharlien Tjambari

Affordable domestic tourism is regarded as the main driver to bring economic recovery to Namibia’s tourism industry. This was the message recently by tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta at the launch of the Domestic Tourism Campaign, which is a joint-initiative between the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

The Covid-19 pandemic brought a devastating 89,4 % plunge in the number of international tourism arrivals in 2020, costing the tourism industry billions in lost revenues, business closures and job losses. Most industries allied to the tourism industry also took a devastating and destructive blow.
Where approximately 1,6 million foreign tourists visited Namibia during 2019 that number plunged to a mere 170 000 arrivals in 2020. That represented an 89,4 % decline.
According to Minister Shifeta at the launch event that was held at Swakopmund, a revival is experienced this year. Bed occupancy increased by between 10 and 15 % and that this was mainly driven by domestic tourism. Hence the realisation that tour and traveling be encouraged among Namibians.
It is expected the Domestic Tourism Campaign will assist to create local tourists and a recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector as well its allied sectors.
Minister Shifeta however, also pointed out local tourism is price sensitive and the market is limited. High-end tourism activities like fly-in safaris and other high-priced activities and establishment will most likely not receive significant benefit.
The Minister said he is appreciative of this domestic tourism campaign initiative. It is there to encourage the local population’s curiosity about Namibia’s attractions and activities and to stimulate a spirt of exploration among Namibians.
Adding: “We need to boost local vibes and domestic consumption. This shall start to help facilitate homegrown passion. Without doubt by giving locals and local businesses something to rally behind, we start by building a reconnection and enthusiasm that will grow into a desire to warmly welcome the world once more with open arms and open hearts. Domestic tourism will continue to serve as an anchor in reviving Namibia’s economy”.
According to the Chairperson of the NTB, Madelein /Goagoses the campaign highlights quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across Namibia. It aims to build back a demand for domestic traveling.
The NBC’s role is to film, make productions and broadcast to local audiences the places to visit and activities to take part in. These advertisements will feature play during prime slots on NBC TV 1. Voice productions will also be produced and played over various radio stations in local languages. Both NTB and NBC’s social media platforms will also feature these productions

The campaign will run from this month to March 2022. NTB is calling on tourism businesses, operators of visitor attractions and destinations across Namibia to get involved. /Goagoses explained interested parties must approach the NBC, and that all negotiations with the national broadcaster have been finalised under the banner of the NTB.
Note: The campaign is funded by KFW, at an amount of N$2.3 million.

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