Government and tourism sector must stand together for revival

The time is now for Government and the private sector to stand together to recover the tourism industry from the ashes of destruction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This the key message from the Institute for Public Policy Research’s (IPPR) second quarter economic review for 2021 that was released this week.
Namibia’s tourism industry is a key economic driver since Independence, not only directly (tourism businesses itself), but also an indirect driver of spin-off business activities.
Between 2006 and 2015 tourism’s direct contribution to GDP rose from N$1,7 billion to N$5,2 billion. The indirect contribution was staggeringly higher with N$5,3 billion in 2006 to N$9,8 billion in 2015.
According to this quarterly economic review, an international agency has been contracted at several occasions between 2006 and 2015 to quantify these figures according to an internationally accepted model. This exercise has not been conducted since 2015, but expectations are both the direct and indirect contribution to GDP steadily rose up to the end of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived.
Similarly, international arrivals increased from approximately 800 000 in 2006 to 1,4 million tourists in 2015.
In 2019 arrivals stood at 1,6 million tourists, supporting the notion that direct and indirect contribution to GDP grew accordingly between 2015 and 2019.
Tourists from African countries, most notably Angola and South Africa formed the biggest portion of annual arrivals. Germany is the biggest source of tourism for Namibia from Europe, followed by the United States, according to a graph from this economic report.
The report concludes by suggesting Namibia’s tourism industry is in for a gradual recovery of several years, driven mainly by factors related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the rate at which the vaccine will help the world to open again for travel.
Locally, the tourism industry can assist with the recovery among others by promoting the Covid-19 vaccine among staff and the wider population. Namibia can regain the trust of international tourism sources if tourism promotes and adopts safe Covid-19 protocols and for the country to reach herd immunity through mass vaccination.

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