“If tourism recovers many other sectors will follow automatically”

Namibia has seen a noticeable increase in visitor numbers in recent weeks, both overseas visitors as well as South Africans. The coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund is no exception, and a spirit of cautious optimism reins for the tourism and hospitality industry to recover from the economic slump brought about by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Several reports were received by Namib Times this week of visitor numbers visibly on the increase. Places like Solitaire which were rendered a ghost town as tourism disappeared since the first two Covid-19 cases are picking up. Earlier this week a Walvis Bay resident that travelled between Rosh Pinah and Walvis Bay on the C14 road counted fourteen tourist vehicles refuelling at Solitaire at once, and the restaurant/shop was also buzzing with activities.
Both in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund many tourist vehicles are spotted and in restaurants and shops tourists are seen.
“This is a matter of cautious optimism. Namibians more than ever now should Namibians redouble their commitment to stick to Covid-19 measures like social distancing, wearing a mask, testing and isolating should they experience symptoms and most importantly to go and get vaccinated”, said a local tourism operator.
“If your country’s tourism sector is healthy then many other sectors of the economy are healthy. Tourists bring their money from overseas and spend it locally.
That means bringing more money into circulation in the country than existing money in the country Namibians circulate among one another. It is almost like a foreign investment with rapid returns”, he added.
He used these remarks to encourage Namibians on the broad spectrum to do more than ever before to keep up the momentum and gains the country had so far achieved against the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“My message is general and should actually be the message of every Namibian by now so it is not necessary that my name have to be connected to the statement”, he further said.
Namibia now ranks 106 out of 222 countries globally when it comes to Covid-19 infections.

On Wednesday, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, had 50 515 cumulative confirmed cases, from which 47 698 people recovered. That represents a recovery rate of 94 %
A total of 576 people died of Covid-19 and a further 126 people succumbed to Covid-related medical problems.
So far approximately 45 000 Namibians received their first doze of the Covid-19 vaccine and 2 700 people already received the second doze.

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