By: Kelvin Chiringa
The star-powered visitation of one of the world’s most celebrated football managers, Jose Mourinho, will send a firm positive message that Namibia is open for tourists after a Covid-19 battering.
This has been expressed by the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) boss, Gitta Paetzold, hours after the Roma manager touched down at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA).
The visit, which has been received with such a frenzy from Namibia’s football fans, flies in the face of a United States of America’s placement of Namibia on the red-list of affected countries.
“It just shows that Namibia is not anymore Africa’s best kept secret after all, that many people have now discovered this as one of the most viable destinations. Mr. Mourinho is actually coming here incognito to enjoy a week of holiday and therefore it is a huge excitement,” she said.
The current head coach of Italian Serie A club Roma, who is known affectionately by Namibia’s football fan base as “The Special One”, has appeared in several images casually posing for pictures with locals.
News of his jetting in came Monday morning and zinged right across the SADC region with sport reporters in Malawi chasing after the news.
He also arrives as Namibia is entering his high season for tourism numbers.
Simonis Storm Securities experts have submitted that Namibia’s peak tourist season is approaching and as indicated in their previous reports, numerous establishments allude to bookings being full in the upcoming months.
Simonis Storm’s Theo Klein has said, “Local rental companies had a fleet of about 8,500 vehicles prior to the pandemic outbreak and currently have about 2,000. Sourcing new vehicles in order to rebuild their fleet in response to rising self-drive demand has proven challenging due to shortages in stock in recent weeks.
“Rental companies typically increase the size of their fleet during the peak tourist season, typically between May and July of each year. However, May 2022’s data point shows an exception to this trend. We believe that vehicle sales to rental companies might undershoot previous peak tourist seasons as a result of ongoing supply constraints.”
HAN has also submitted that the forward booking for July up until October is very promising.
“We are fully booked at that time which is traditionally our tourism high season and we really are hoping that the current status quo in terms of Covid-19 situation and Namibia’s suitability as a travel destination remains put,” said Paetzold.