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Namibia’s Tourism Arrivals Up By 98.1%


By:Justicia Shipena
Namibia had a record-breaking surge in foreign visitor arrivals of 98.1% in 2022.
Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shieft a released the yearly tourist statistical report for 2022 on Tuesday afternoon.
“I am delighted to report a record of 98.1% increase in international tourist arrivals from 232,756 (2021) to 461,027 in 2022,” Shifeta said.
The figure Shifeta said indicates a 28.9% recovery level from the annual tourist arrival of 2019.
Namibia’s tourist visits have steadily increased in recent years, increasing by 37.3% in 2021, from 169,565 visitors in 2020 to 232,756 arrivals in 2021.
According to Shifeta, the primary indicators of the annual tourist statistical report demonstrated that 2022 was a memorable post-Covid-19 year for Namibia’s tourism industry.
Many factors, he stated, contributed to the positive growth trend, including overall tourist confidence in ‘Destination Namibia’, ease of access to the country, reformed VISA regime, availability of more airline seats to Namibia, aggressive marketing and promotional campaigns, presence and participation at international platforms, hosting of business meetings and events, increased global brand awareness, quality of experience and offerings.
The top 10 tourist source markets for Namibia in 2022 include South Africa, Angola, Germany, Zambia, Botswana, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, and Switzerland.
According to the data, the bulk of tourists, or 53.1% of total tourist arrivals, arrived in Namibia between September and December of 2022.
However, 36.1% of tourists visited Namibia from May to August, while 10.8% visited from January to April.
“This revelation shows a shift in the travel pattern of visitors to Namibia. The annual average stay of a tourist in Namibia is 16 nights,” Shifeta said.
He said Namibia’s success should be measured not only by visitor numbers but also by a collective commitment to sustainable tourism development practices that reduce negative environmental impacts, provide high standards of service delivery, assurance of visitor safety and security, enhanced visitor experience, and value for money.
The Minister urged the tourism sector to build long-term and sensible collaborations with local communities, as well as other key partners and stakeholders, to ensure that tourism provides inclusive, broad-based, and long-term socioeconomic benefits to Namibians.
“The Ministry equally urges destination managers, tour operators, and all relevant stakeholders to develop new products/services, experiences/packages, new routes, and new attractions to enhance guest experience, but equally to make the ‘Destination Namibia’ appeals more to repeat visitors,” Shifeta noted.
He said Namibia’s tourist business has the potential to gain from both local and inter-regional prospects.
In order to achieve a solid, sustained tourism industry revival, the country’s marketing effort must be increased to generate demand for travel by locals and regional markets, he pointed out.
The Ministry is now executing the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan which lays out a framework for policy intervention and strategic programmes to assist each stage of recovery.
Furthermore, the Ministry has made good progress in the compilation and finalisation of the 6th edition of Namibia’s Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) using the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) modality in collaboration with NSA and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The TSA will show the tourist sector’s post-Covid-19 contribution to the country’s GDP as well as economic leakages in the sector.
Minister Shifeta concluded that the annual tourist statistical report 2022 would inspire Namibia to continue the country’s journey towards excellence, product innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth in the tourist sector.

Justicia Shipena

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