Tourism blacklisting detrimental to NACWindhoek • Ogone Tlhage
Namibia has been listed as a high-risk travel destination because of the third wave of Covid-19 infections currently raging in the country.
The blacklisting of Namibia as a tourism destination by the US Centres for Disease Control and the Robert Koch Institute is bound to have a negative effect on the revenue of the Namibia Airports Company, says its CEO, Bisey Uirab.
Namibia had been deemed a dangerous destination, following a sharp uptick in the number of Covid-19 cases being reported.
“The blacklisting of Namibia has a detrimental effect on the revenue of the Namibia Airports Company’s revenue and on the Namibian economy as a whole, airport revenue is depended on the passenger and aircraft movements,” Uirab said on the effects of the blacklisting.
According to Uirab, the blacklisting translates into travel restrictions to and out of Namibia.
“Airlines are unable to operate on a high yield due to the imposed regulations which may further lead to a reduction in their frequencies and ultimately a withdrawal of routes, trade and investment facilitation will be negatively impacted.”
Uirab further urged people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from Covid-19.
“Drastic measures are required for Namibia to reduce the Covid infection rates by adhering to the Covid-19 protocols to shorten the blacklisting period,” Uirab said.
Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) CEO Gitta Paetzold recently said the sector had asked for clarity in light of the new regulations.
“It is a concern for us,” she said.
Commenting on Namibia’s classification as a high-risk travel destination by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the Robert Koch Institute, Paetzold said Namibia could still be described as a safe travel destination because of its wide-open spaces.
“Our tourism products cannot be compared because of the open spaces. Despite the fact that the cases are high, our environment is less of a risk. People still feel that Namibia is a safe environment,” she said.