THE tourism industry is expected to experience growth in the years to come as opposed to other industries which have been adversely affected by the global economic crisis.
Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) chairperson Shepherd Chinhoi said tourism has seen enormous growth, despite other industries experiencing a downward trajectory.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch of HAN’s congress for 2017, which also marked its 30th anniversary, Chinhoi said the world tourism report shows that the industry the world over is expected to grow by 4% in 2020. He said in many countries, the tourism industry will experience double-digit growth, and Namibia is no exception.
Standard Bank’s head of the strategic sector, Manus Grobler, said tourism contributes more than 15% to Namibia’s gross domestic product.
He stressed that tourism is booming in the local economy, especially towards the end of the year, while growth is expected to improve in 2018, and remain stable over the medium term.
“Annually, over one-million travellers visit Namibia, with large numbers from South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and France,” Grobler said.
He added that the local tourism industry has great potential for growth, and it is thus important to ensure that through associations such as HAN, commitment to enhance this industry is demonstrated.
Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) managing director Wessie van der Westhuizen said the tourism industry has the potential to contribute a lot towards the local economy.
“Tourism in Namibia not only benefits certain countries and certain individuals, but it definitely benefits us as a nation. We need to build the Namibian brand,” he said, adding that the NBL has been part of HAN for 27 years.
Van der Westhuizen said over the years, HAN nurtured great and diverse partnerships, including mining, and showed the role and contribution every industry makes in tourism.
“This is for a course so much bigger than us; it is for our country, and the privileges we enjoy. Namibia is a fantastic brand, it has a great offering for tourists and locals to experience the time of their lives,” he noted.
HAN received a N$210 000 sponsorship for its congress and gala dinner slated for the end of November, with NBL contributing N$130 000 and Standard Bank N$80 000. The sponsorship from Bannerman was not disclosed.