Expo a boost for tourism after Covid-19 lockdown
29 October 2020 | Tourism
Despite the difficulties the tourism industry has been facing because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Namibia Tourism Expo was launched yesterday.
The tourism expo, which is now in its 22nd year, is the biggest tourism event in the country, bringing together stakeholders from all walks of life as well as international exhibitors to network and showcase their services and products.
Speaking at the launch, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said the continuity of domestic tourism operations is crucial at this critical time.
He said the tourism expo will create a platform for the industry to brainstorm ideas to ensure that Namibia remains a preferred destination in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Equally, we believe that this is the time for Southern Africa to join hands in marketing the region as a destination. Namibia's tourism sector continues to be suppressed by the effects of the coronavirus, which resulted in the decline in tourism activities.”
The minister said the pandemic has taught the industry to re-focus, invest and aggressively market domestic tourism.
He stressed that tourism is vulnerable to many factors, both internal and external.
“Therefore, we should not engage in activities that will tarnish the image of our country such as facilities and products that are of low quality, bad customer service and theft that will negatively affect our tourism sector.”
The Namibia Tourism Expo is organised annually by Namibia Media Holdings.
It hosts exhibits by local, regional and international exhibitors and also features interactive cooking demonstrations, food, beer and wine tasting, as well as a host of fun activities to attract travel enthusiasts, foodies, friends of tourism and the public.
'A statement of revival'
NMH CEO Able Botha explained the company has gone out of its way to manage the expo in accordance with coronavirus regulations. He said all ticketing will be done via cellphone, therefore tracking and tracing will be 100%.
Secondly, the expo has been broken down into different zone areas.
“We will be limiting the numbers so that we can control the crowds. It is a different expo. It is a different way.”
Everything will also be broadcast on social media.
“This expo is really about engagement on the one side, but also more importantly about realising that virtual engagement is part of where we are right now and going forward,” Botha said.
He said the tourism expo this year is “a statement of revival” for the industry.
Sponsors include Viva Energy, FNB Namibia and the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group.