Namibia’s Tourism Sector Witnesses Remarkable Growth

Namibia's tourism

SUMMARY – NAMIBIA’S TOURISM SURGES WITH A RECORD 98.1% INCREASE IN ARRIVALS, FUELED BY MARKETING AND ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS. MINISTER SHIFETA’S REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS FOR CONTINUED EXCELLENCE.

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Namibia tourism industry experienced an unprecedented surge in international and inbound tourists, marking a significant milestone.

Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, unveiled the Annual Tourist Statistical Report for 2022, revealing an astounding 98.1 percent increase in tourist arrivals. The numbers soared from 232,756 in 2021 to an impressive 461,027 in 2022. This signifies a notable 28.9 percent recovery from 2019’s annual tourist arrivals.

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Key Insights from the Report

Shifeta emphasized that the report not only showcases tourist numbers but also delves into vital variables such as age groups, gender, entry points, purposes of visits, and countries of origin. These insights play a pivotal role in planning and elevating the tourism sector. They help evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to boost the sector.

Factors Driving Growth – Namibia stood out in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by early border reopening post-Covid. Government and private sector efforts jointly contributed to positive outcomes, striving to regain 2018’s international tourist levels.

Positive Indicators – Shifeta highlighted the Annual Tourist Statistical Report’s key indicators, signifying an exceptional post-Covid era for Namibia’s tourism. This period witnessed record-breaking numbers and substantial growth in tourist arrivals.

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Contributing Elements – Factors fueling this growth encompass tourists’ confidence in “Destination Namibia,” improved access, revamped visa regulations, increased flight options, robust marketing campaigns, global presence, international events, heightened brand awareness, and enhanced visitor experiences.

Top Source Markets – Namibia’s top ten tourist source markets in 2022 comprised South Africa, Angola, Germany, Zambia, Botswana, France, the UK, the USA, Italy, and Switzerland.

Seasonal Trends – A significant majority, 53.1 percent, arrived between September and December 2022. 36.1 percent visited during May to August, while 10.8 percent explored from January to April. This shift underscores evolving travel patterns.

Focus on Sustainability – Shifeta acknowledged successes but urged vigilance against challenges. Sustainable practices, service excellence, safety, and economic benefits should be central to the sector’s progress.

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Namibia’s Tourism: Moving Forward

Collaboration with communities and partners is crucial for inclusive socio-economic growth. Creating enticing offerings and improving “Destination Namibia” are paramount to attracting repeat visitors and boosting domestic and regional markets.

Recovery Plan Implementation – Namibia’s Ministry is executing a Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, providing a strategic framework for each recovery phase.

Tourism Satellite Account – The Ministry, in partnership with agencies, is finalizing Namibia’s Tourism Satellite Account. This report will unveil the sector’s post-Covid contribution to GDP and economic leakages.

Acknowledging Contributions – Shifeta expressed gratitude to stakeholders, underscoring their passion, dedication, and hard work that propelled Namibia’s tourism success in 2022.

Inspiring Future Growth – Shifeta hopes the Annual Tourist Statistical Report 2022 will inspire stakeholders to continue striving for excellence, innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth in the tourism sector.

READ: Namibia Strengthens Capacity for National Tourism Satellite Account Development

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