Covid-19 vaccinations can boost tourism

International tourists play a key role as their foreign currencies enhance the country’s GDP.

01 June 2021 | Tourism

Anett Kötting; HAN; “This does not make it easy to convince staff in the tourism industry to get vaccinated.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Hospitality Association of Namibia’s (HAN) coastal representative, Anett Kötting says that locals opting to get vaccinated could boost the tourism sector.

According to her, Namibians should take a proactive approach in getting the jab. “I think it is important that everybody is vaccinated, because at the end of the day, that is how overseas tour operators will support our businesses,” she said.

Kötting also called on members of the public to ignore the myths being spread on social media about Covid-19 vaccines.

“There are all kinds of conspiracy theories doing the rounds. This does not make it easy to convince staff in the tourism industry to get vaccinated. I think staff members with family members should consider it,” she said.

It is expected that the number of coronavirus cases will increase in winter. Due to this concern, Kötting implored locals to continue adhering to the other Covid-19 preventative measures like the wearing of face masks, sanitizing and social distancing in a bid to decrease the number of rapidly increasing cases.

“Many people will get flu and it will make Covid numbers rise. This is concern and that is why I’m asking people to get vaccinated and obey the other protocols,” she said.

Kötting said the fact that Namibia’s wide open spaces, makes it easy for social distancing to be implemented.

“Namibia is a spacious country and that makes it an attractive destination.”

It is understood that currently, locals make the bulk of visits to hospitality sites, especially over long weekends.

Kötting noted that although people being vaccinated will boost tourism, another airline is needed to bring an influx of international tourists.

“Eurowings, Ethiopian Airlines and Airlink are the only airlines who are bringing in tourists at the moment. Airlink brings in 31 tourists every Tuesday and Thursday. So, the numbers are still very low.”

International tourists are vital to the economy of a country like Namibia that has many tourist destinations. These tourists bring foreign currencies, which are important to enhance the country’s gross domestic product.