The Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said judging from the latest data, the outlook for the tourism industry is positive as could be attested to by the increase from 20 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011.
The impressive occupancy rates have been achieved by accommodation establishments, based on data collected by the NTB collected through tourism levy returns that were submitted by the industry.
Speaking on Wednesday, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the campaign for domestic tourism is bearing fruit with Namibians accounting for 45 percent of nationalities, who used registered accommodation establishments, followed by German nationals. With reference to arrivals at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Nandi-Ndaitwah pointed out that an increase of 8 percent compared to 346 138 arrivals in 2010 to 374 776 in 2011 of which 59.2 percent make up the regional arrivals from African countries, while the rest is shared between Namibian domestic and international arrivals.
She said the results show a trend in market demand, adding Namibia being short-listed as one of the three finalists to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit, an inspection team from the Adventure Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) was in the country for a week to inspect and appraise all the tourism facilities around the country. The team left Namibia a few days ago
"I remain optimistic that Namibia stands a good chance to win, as she boasts being a safe and secure adventure destination with excellent infrastructure in terms of the road network, health facilities, efficient telecommunications, rich cultural heritage and an award-winning community-based natural resource management program, which uniquely combines tourism, conservation and community development. And to round it all, the warmth of our people," she told the tourism expo that ends on Saturday.
She said the Adventure Summit has great marketing value that attracts presidents, chief executive officers, managing directors and general managers of the global tourism industry.
"There will also be a significant presence of international travel and tourism media representatives and this will result in excellent coverage of Namibia and the value of this in real-marketing efforts is huge,' she said.
Using this, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, the platform to influence the participating "buyers" to sell "Destination Namibia", will contribute to real economic growth in the tourism sector, which shall yield more returns on investments made to host this event. President of ATTA, Shannon Stowel, who was a special guest to the event, said Namibia indeed is a land of adventure. "You should leave no stone unturned in order to host the summit. He said he liked the Namibian story where there is so much optimism.
"I have met with numerous communal conservancies and I've learned about the difficulties and opportunities. To put it in a word, Namibia is just amazing," he said.
At the same occasion, Executive Chairperson of Democratic Media Holdings (DMH). Chrisna Greef, said since its inception in 1999, the expo has consistently grown and has earned a superb reputation for offering the only centralized marketing platform for Namibia's hospitality industry.
The expo hosts exhibits by local, regional and international establishments and also features interactive chefs' demonstrations; Namibian arts and crafts exhibitions; food, beer and wine-tasting; and a host of other fun activities to attract travel enthusiasts, friends of tourism and the general public.
A fully-fledged motor vehicle show, complete with motoring accessories, is also hosted under the banner of the Bank Windhoek/Republikein Motorshow.