Internal discord in the tourism sector

Otis Daniels_Finck
Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum (NTTF) and its founder Nrupesh Soni have been making headlines for months - and not always for good reason.

Now the Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) has joined a number of tourism associations, rejecting any cooperation with NTTF. At the same time, however, the Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NTTF.

According to NTTF founder Soni, the agreement includes “the digitization and inclusion of the Namibian tourism industry”.

“NTTF was founded to optimize the flow of information and communication in the Namibian tourism industry,” Soni explained.

The agreement promotes these goals, supports the general Namibian tourism sector, and helps the ministry to implement its strategic plan. He wanted to address a “huge information gap and the lack of inclusion in the industry”.

MEFT media spokesman Romeo Muyunda confirmed the signing of a letter of intent when asked by this publication. However, he does not have any details.

Meanwhile, the NTB officially distanced itself from the NTTF recently - cooperation in any way will not be realized in the short to medium term.

In the declaration signed by NTB managing director Digu // Naobeb, he reacted to a “series of allegations”, according to which “NTB only works with certain tourism associations”.

“The allegations stir up negativity and disagreement within the industry and affect the professional image of the industry on a local and global level,” the NTB said.

Soni reacted that, “while NTB claims this, there is no evidence that NTTF is discrediting the NTB,” he said. According to him, he turned to NTB to seek cooperation. “But because I voted against (the tourism umbrella organization) FENATA, I was expelled,” he said.

FENATA recently “distanced itself from any elements that damage the Namibian tourism industry and bring it into disrepute”.

In particular, the NTTF was named, which “has caused enormous damage - locally and internationally - to the image of Namibian tourism through persistent malicious attacks and defamation of established tourism organizations”.

FENATA also pledged its support to the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) and other members who “have been wrongly criticized and attacked by NTTF”.