Local tourism promoted

Specials

03 November 2021 | Events

Yvonne von Holtz; Expo cofounder and organiser; “I knew the borders would be closed and we need to mobilize locals to travel.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]



Swakopmund was host to the Local Tourism is Lekker Expo and networking event last on Saturday. The event had 13 stalls and consisted of a three-day market with “We are in this together” as theme.

The reason behind the initiative was to allow locals to come together and support tourism. The exhibitors included the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Exclusive Reservations and Marketing, Eco Gliding Tours and Don Tours & Safari. A general networking event was also hosted on 29 October for members of the tourism sector who exchanged ideas and strategies amongst each other.

The online platform was established in March 2020 and currently has over 23 000 members, with an average of 9 000 active members daily on Facebook. Countless specials are posted and hundreds of local and SADC travellers are assisted.

The initiative is run on a pro bono basis by Yvonne von Holtz, Joseph Kafunda, Heiko Dörgeloh and Hans Soltau. The expo aims to take place every year, and was hosted twice this year. Players in the tourism industry came together in Windhoek and Swakopmund to show their gratitude for the local support that they have had over the past months. Ethilde Kuwa, a tourism officer from the tourism ministry, said that the expo aims to contribute towards rebuilding the sector and that it targets domestic tourism by creating awareness about travelling in Namibia.
Linea Thomas, a sales consultant at Namibia Wildlife Resorts, said that they came to the expo to exhibit and to showcase the specials available for locals.

Von Holtz said that she came up with the idea of the expo because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I started the initiative because I knew the borders would be closed and we need to mobilize the locals to travel. We are trying to help local and SADC travellers to access affordable Namibian tourism offers. With that in mind, we invited tourism businesses to use the expo as a central hub to connect with customers and distribute rates.”

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