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Occupancy Arrivals On A Monthly Downward Trajectory

By:Staff writer
While 2023 has been fairly kinder to the tourism sector than both 2021 and 2022, occupancy rates at nationwide hospitality establishments continue on a downward trend.
After reaching a high of 61.3% in August 2022, occupancy rates averaged 31.7% in February 2023, compared to 37.1% in January 2023.
However, this is in line with the seasonal trend, where occupancy rates generally dip every January and remain below average until Namibia’s peak tourist season commences in May to September.
“February and March usually are the most quiet months for tourism in Namibia,” according to Hospitality Association of NamibiaChief Executive Officer Gitta Paetzold.
The analysts at Simonis Storm Securities have observed that Namibian travellers accounted for 55% of all guests at nationwide hospitality establishments, whereas only 31% of all guests were Namibian in February 2023.
“This significant decrease can be indicative of the general rise in living and travelling costs, leading to more households delaying or cancelling planned trips throughout the country,” Simonis Storm Securities said.
On a global scale, the analysts say the geo-political tensions across the world could impact occupancy rates.
“In our view, downside risks to tourist flows remain as economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions could weigh on international travel in 1H2023. In fact, the All-World Travel Index has decreased by 3.7% YTD and – 1.1% y/y by mid-march 2023 (Figure 1). In addition, the UNWTO Confidence Index indicates cautious optimism over the January 2023 to April 2023 period.”
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has said that “tourists are nonetheless expected to increasingly seek value for money and travel closer to home in response to the challenging economic climate.”
Meanwhile,37.4% of visitors into Namibia came from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, being Namibia’s main tourism sources, South Africa (5.4%), Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) (4.5%) and France (3.5%).
“What is interesting to note is that the number of guests coming from the US and Canada has doubled from numbers recorded in February 2022,” the analysts said.
According to them, the completion of the American Embassy in Windhoek could lead to a spike in international visitor arrivals.
This, Simonis Storm Securities said,”presents an opportunity for the country’s tourism sector to capitalise on the ensuing tourist peak season. We understand that about 400 permanent workers are to be recruited with a 70/30 split between Namibian and American workers according to an expert from government.”

Staff Writer

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