Tourism forum for Swakopmund

Swakopmund wants to establish a tourism forum, do more international marketing and take the tourism sector to greater heights. About 80 businessmen, members of the Council and other persons involved in the tourism sector met in Swakopmund yesterday to discuss a way forward to promote the tourism industry – nationally and internationally.

Further tourism development in Swakopmund can only become reality if the private and public sector are working together. This was one of the key areas discussed yesterday during the conference on tourism growth and development in Swakopmund.
“Swakopmund has exploded over the years, mainly due to the uranium mines but we will never know how long our uranium mines will last. We are a stable, peaceful and beautiful country and the tourism sector is one of the key focus areas for the future of the town,” said Swakopmund resident Eckart Mueller. His opinion was also shared by Mayor Paulina Nashilundo: “Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors and Swakopmund plays a leading role in the Namibian tourism sector.”
One of the main reasons for yesterday’s conference was the Swakopmund Tourism Growth and Development Strategy which was officially launched earlier this year (namib times reported).
“Today marks a stepping stone in the implementation of the strategy. We must bring forth concrete ideas and adopt these,” Nashilundo continued saying. She added that she fully supports the establishment of a tourism forum.
Amongst the many ideas brought forward a few key areas came into the spotlight: the identification of priority issues out of the strategy; tourism safety and security; determination of additional attractions and activities in and around Swakopmund; diversification of tourist segments; joint marketing and branding of Swakopmund as a preferred tourist destination; development to extend the length of stay in Swakopmund; promotion of the Walvis Bay airport.
The strategy was compiled by the Development Consultants for Southern Africa (DECOSA), which was appointed by the municipality. The aim of the 60 page report is to provide a basis to optimise the tourism development of the town and further increase the competitiveness of Swakopmund vis-à-vis other tourism localities.
By analysing existing data the report concludes that currently Swakopmund is visited by about 300 000 foreign tourists yearly. It is assumed that of this amount 100 000 tourists visit from neighbouring South Africa, while an additional 100 000 Namibian’s visit Swakopmund yearly. Based on these assumptions and through calculation the annual income generated by tourism contributes about N$1.5 billion into the economy of Swakopmund.
If the action plan of the report is implemented and the length of stay by foreigners can be extended by one day and an additional 50 000-100 000 European tourists visit the town, the income generated can be substantial.
“The tourism growth and development strategy will contribute to mobilise within five years an additional annual income of over 30% and sustain the current income, i.e. it targets an income for the industry in Swakopmund from tourism of about N$2 billion of which about 60% will be in foreign currency,” the report states.

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