Hospitality Association records “best August” in a decade

With an average room occupancy of 71.7% recorded by Namibian tourism accommodation establishments across the country last month, this year’s peak tourism month is officially the highest August occupancy recorded by the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) in the last decade.

“We definitely noticed the good tourism season at the coast,” said Almuth Styles from the tourism centre namib I in Swakopmund to namib times.
According to the statistics released by HAN during the month of August 75.75% of the 6696 rooms available at the coast were occupied. “I know it is a successful season when I get walk-in clients who wish to book accommodation and there is no more room available,” said Styles. Of the total 13 764 beds available at the coast 8 476 were occupied, making the bed occupancy slightly less at 61.58%. Styles also noticed that a lot of popular day activities for tourists, like desert tours or dolphin cruises, were also very high in demand this season so far.
The main tourism season usually begins in August and runs until mid-November. “I noticed a lot more Italian, Belgian and Dutch tourists this August,” Styles continued. Based on the statistical records HAN holds of the past decade, German-speaking Europe still remains the largest source market for guests to accommodation establishments, with some 26,16% of guests to establishments in August over the past decade coming from either Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Namibians frequenting establishments over the past ten years were the second biggest group with 24,8% of all rooms occupied by Namibians in August, followed by South Africa, with close to 10% over the past decade.
The average occupancy for Namibian tourism accommodation establishments in the peak travel month of August over the past ten years has been around 59,5%, making this year’s result of 71,7% a clear indication of the positive trend the tourism sector is able to enjoy at present. Already in July, an increase of over 5% compared to 2015 was recorded – this year’s high season in tourism for Namibia is promising to be one of the best ever.
2015 was a less successful year for Namibia tourism, (as well as for tourism in Southern Africa in general), with general occupancy in August sinking to a low of 60% only, causing some discouragement after the positive growth the previous year.
Reasons for the slump were seen in the effects of the Ebola scare at the time, as well as restrictive visa and travel regulations imposed by South Africa.
Namibia currently ranks high on the list of popular travel destinations across the globe, partly due to other popular destinations for European travellers, such as North Africa, Turkey and other parts of the Mediterranean fell out of favour due to political turmoil. HAN is confident that Namibia’s popularity may even grow, if the tourism industry maintains its active marketing activities, ideally with more aggressive support and investment in destination marketing from government and other key stakeholders. “Now is the time to leverage on the positive momentum currently experienced, so as to reach the full potential of Namibia’s tourism industry,” HAN states.

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