Tourism-Old NTB licence discs for tour guide vehicles no more valid

Vehicles transporting tourists for tour operators can no longer operate with the old Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) license discs which has no expiring date. A new disc with a five-year validity is now applicable.
Mr Renatus Nyema, Senior Tourism Inspector in Erongo of the NTB confirmed this and explained vehicles transporting tourists have to be registered according to the requirements set by the Road Transport Act as well as by the NTB.
Neyema participated in the recent cross border joint law enforcement operation that was conducted by Namibia, Botswana and South Africa at Swakopmund between Wednesday and Sunday and several tour operators’ vehicles were pulled over and several drivers were also questioned.
“Vehicles transporting tourists must display a NTB license disc.
This disc is an authorisation from NTB that says yes, your vehicle operates legally within the tourism sector. In the past, these discs had no expiry date, but this changed”, explained Nyema.
The new changes: all vehicles should display the new five-year discs. It is essential that tour operators obtain the new disc for their vehicles.
The old disc, although it has no expiry date is not permissible any longer”, added Nyema.
Commenting on the new changes in place when it comes to cross border transport of tourists, Nyema explained a lot of requirements are enforced.
That includes the training of tour guides, to ensure the correct information is passed to tourists “let’s say for you to be a tour guide you need to be specialised in that and then more educated in that in terms of our short training in tour guide to sell Namibia and to avoid giving wrong information to our visitors” Nyema noted.
Adding, the business of conducting tours, especially across borders in SADC, is subjected to rules and standards to ensure Namibia remains a world class tourist destination.
People’s safety is also at stake and it is therefore important to comply with every aspect of our laws, including properly trained in first aid in order to render assistance during emergencies where tourists are involved. Be that people in your tour group or other random emergencies.
Another serious issue is the public drivers permits all drivers of tourist vehicles need. “By being in possession of a PDP we know that the people you are transporting are being taken care of by a competent person.
Nyema found it disturbing the fact that many Namibians take chances and cut corners when having to comply to standards in the tourism sector simply because of making profit.
“Tourism is a booming business, but do we have an idea of how to run such business responsibly?”
One of the areas where the challenge remains is the transportation of tourists. Many, contrary to the limitations of their permits to only transport tourists, also apply this permit to transport long distance passengers in general.
“During recent joint law enforcement operations, we have rectified and we have advised people that as long as you are in position of a tourist road career permit, you are not permitted to conduct any long-distance transportation”.
There is a reason why entities such as the NTB was established. One reason is for everybody to conduct their business operations responsibly and to be accountable.
We call on tourism-related business to assess their business operations and comply with all relevant laws and rules.
If you are uncertain or have questions – contact the NTB. The NTB’s office is at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s building in Swakopmund on Bismark street.

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