Namibia Tourism Board Regional Manager for Africa and East Nicolae Tambrescu has reported that domestic tourism has significantly increased in frequency compared to last year, The Villager can reveal.
Speaking to The Villager, Tambrescu states that domestic tourism has gone tremendously high from 55% in 2015 to 73% this year during the last quarter in seasonal times.
“This is all thanks to the beauty Namibia holds as people are more aware of possible places to travel and explore and the conclusion that tourism relaxes has been mended in our minds also helped in numbers”, he said.
According to Tambrescu, the tourism industry has greatly aided in influencing people to travel domestically while offering plenty of incentives and marketing campaigns from the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and the Namibian Wildlife Resort (NWR).
“People are more prone to try out new attractions with day trips and overnight activities and that domestic travelling is as important as international arrivals”, he further states.
However, Tambrescu believes that tourists in Namibia do not really like to travel and that they are wiser in spending than traveling.
Minister of Environment and Tourism Chief Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda attested to the fact that, domestic tourism has improved compared to previous years.
“Domestic tourism has received appreciation by Namibians who like to travel and enjoy their own country especially during festive seasons like Easter and Christmas”, he said.
Muyunda however thinks that more still needs to be done in terms of creating awareness.
“People believe that travelling is for foreigners and that is it expensive in terms of affordability and also it is not within our culture as Namibians to travel”, he said.
Speaking to the villager, Namibia Wildlife Resort Manager (NWR) Corporate Communication and Online Media Mufaro Nesongano, confirmed that domestic tourism has increased in numbers in the past few years
“From an international perspective, awareness campaigns done by the NTB have influenced the rise in domestic tourism as people want to know what Namibia is all about and from a local perspectives, the is a number of specials that have been offered to locals and incentives for them to travel and visit the different establishments”, he said.
Nesongano argues that though in the past people found it to be expensive to camp in Namibia; it is not the case anymore.
“In the past in used to hold water, however there are a lot of prices that are targeted to Namibia for instance with NWR, we have a 25% discount that we offer any Namibian citizens so this thing itself is already an incentives for you to book with us”, he said.
According to Nesongano, the most highly visited places in Namibia are the coastal side with 16%, Etosha National Park 27%,Sossusvlei 16% and the northern areas with 30%.
Domestic tourism presents a challenge for the black middle class with disposable income. Tourism is not a necessity; it is an extra. Most people travel for holidays AFTER (or if) their bond, car note, municipal bills, food, insurance, school fees, or medical bills are covered.
Namibians disadvantaged in the previous system, tend to choose to spend their disposable income on family weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmations, tombstone unveilings, or cultural events in their home areas.
A fact people don’t realize is that those who live in Windhoek, but travel ‘back home’ to any of these events can be considered a domestic tourist. Many times, extended families have only one member with a job earning disposable income and all family obligations usually are presented to that person. Leisure travel is not even on the radar.
NTB works at the various local trade fairs and the Namibia Tourism Fair in Windhoek to promote specials and discounts at accommodation facilities.