The private sector’s green hydrogen projects, as well as new aquatic projects such as salmon farming and kelp production inLüderitz, investments in gas pipelines and mining explorations could feed into boosting the tourism industry.
This is the view of the experts at Simonis Storm Securities after, in April, the tourism sector recorded the highest monthly occupancy rate for the year thus far, just as Namibia’s peak tourism season, which is May to September, is aboutto start.
“Indeed, Fly Namibia increased its weekly flights to Oranjemund from 3 to 5 recently in order to cater to a growing number of Shell and Debmarine staff. Engagements with certain stakeholders indicate that hotels in Luderitz and guesthouses in Oranjemund are running at higher occupancy rates as a result of oil operations in the area,” SSS said.
Nationwide, hospitality establishments stood at 51.8% occupancy, compared to 36.5% recorded in the same month last year.
Simonis Storm Securities said the average for the year thus far is 40.3%, which is only 3.7% short of reaching pre-pandemic levels – year to date average of 2019, which stood at 44.0%.
The analysts have previously said that the tourism sector could be one of the best economic drivers for the remainder of 2023.
During April, however, central Namibia saw the lowest occupancy rate at 37.3%, after seeing the highest the month before at 52.7%. In April, the coastal area had the highest occupancy rate of 58.1%, which is 18.4 percentage points higher than the prior month.
The northern area follows at 56.0%, which is 21.5 percentage points higher than prior month, and the southern area at 49.3% , a 8.2 percentage points higher than March 2023).
“The growth in the portion of visitors from Namibia’s main tourist source markets (i.e. Germany, Austria and Switzerland) is partly due to the availability of 10 direct flights each week between Windhoek and Frankfurt,” Hospitality Association of Namibia stated.
The weakening Rand exchange rate poses an advantage for foreigners in Namibia as their Euros have more spending power. The inflows from Europe picked up in January of this year and have been on an upward trend since then.