NTE a promotional gem for tourism

Jo-Maré Duddy
Jo-Maré Duddy

The Namibia Tourism Expo (NTE) this year didn’t just offer valuable insight into the different offerings of the country’s industry, but also created the opportunity for conservancies to spread their message.

Visitors to the expo, which was hosted by Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) and ran from Thursday to Saturday, were eager to learn more about community conservation, said Anna Streidwolf of the Gaingu conservancy near the Spitzkoppe.

Streidwolf described the conservancy’s participation in the expo as valuable, saying they learnt a lot about what other exhibitors had to offer, not just in terms of accommodation, but also regarding the variety of food and wine.

More than 100 exhibitors attended the NTE this year, representing in excess of 1 600 hotels, lodges and rest camps.

LJ Kruger of Fly Namibia described the airline’s participation as a “great experience”, saying the NTE is an important event for Namibia.

“The more we can promote tourism in our beautiful country, the better,” Kruger said.

Fly Namibia offered visitors access to 100 destinations worldwide.

‘EXCELLENT MARKETING TOOL’

Marco Visagie of FNB Namibia described the NTE as an excellent marketing tool, one which he would highly recommend.

One of the products FNB Namibia promoted at the expo was the FNB Global Account - an innovative way to help customers save and transact in a foreign currency. The three currencies available are the US dollar, the British pound and the euro.

According to Visagie, the NTE is one of the best ways to connect with clients.

Data released shows tourism in Namibia is recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic.

A national occupancy rate of 52.9% was recorded during September, compared to 61.3% in the prior month and 27.4% in September 2021, according to the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN).

Year to date, the national occupancy rate averages 38.1%, compared to 21.0% for the same period in 2021 (January to September), showing a continued improvement in tourist inflows.

VISITORS PROFILE

The proportion of Namibian guests at local hospitality establishments increased from 15.7% in August 2022 to 16.0% in September 2022, Simonis Storm (SS) says in its latest analysis of tourism figures.

Most guests at nationwide hospitality establishments came from Germany, Switzerland and Austria (43.2%), France (7.1%), South Africa (6.1%), UK and Ireland (4.8%) and Italy (3.7%).

In September, hospitality establishments in the North recorded the highest occupancy rate of 57.9%, followed by the South with 51.1%, the coast with 51.0% and the central area with 44.6%.

“We certainly maintain our positive stance on the local tourism sector supporting economic activity in the short run,” SS said.

With the wide value chain in tourism, SS believes positive spillover benefits will support the continued economic recovery underway in other sectors as well.