By: Daniel Ndumba
The University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in hospitality.
NUST’s Head of Department: Hospitality and Tourism, Isobel Green, said for years the tourism industry has been characterised by poor customer service, lack of innovative cooking skills and transparency.
Green stated the two institutions saw a need to ensure that proper mechanisms are in place to provide good customer care and to improve service levels in the tourism sector.
NUST Vice Chancellor Dr Erold Naomab said Namibia is a niche tourist destination in the world and the country must use available opportunities to maximise inclusive growth as well as enhance opportunities particularly by encouraging the youth demographic for their own development.
“The tourism industry in Namibia is on a trajectory of recovering post Covid-19 and therefore calls for an improved service delivery in a manner that encompasses the changing needs of the 21st century travellers,” Dr Naomab said.
“One of these changing needs of the 21st century traveller is the appreciation of excellence in customer service during their experience in Namibia,” he added.
This year, the Environment and Tourism Minister reported that international tourist arrivals increased by almost 38% in 2021 compared to 2020.
Dr Naomab explained that ensuring that guests have a memorable experience at key destinations in Namibia depends on the interaction from the start of the journey until the guests have departed.
He said NWR and NUST responded to the need to enhance the skills of NWR employees to improve customer service and culinary skills.
“NUST is befitting in providing these training because it has been at the forefront of making a significant impact on the industry through it’s skills, human capital and state of the art infrastructure for both theory and practical training” he said.
The NUST’s Associate Dean: School of Commerce and Management Science, Professor Teresia Kaulihowa said about 75 staff members from NWR were trained on customer care service whereas 55 staff members participated and received training on Chef skills through the institution’s culinary art programme.
Professor Kaulihowa said another 75 participants have registered for this week’s training on customer care which includes staff members from the Ministry.
NWR was represented by the entity’s Managing Director, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama who hailed NUST as an international brand as well as a reputable institution, and whereas NWR is a reputable local and international brand.
“Now when you have these two giants really collaborating surely the result is obvious,” Ngwangwama said.
He added that training is a never ending thing and that it is a lifelong journey, especially in the tourism industry.
The total number of those who were already trained and those yet to be trained sums up to 205 out of the total 634 NWR staff.