THOUSANDS of people visited the Namport Erongo Business and Tourism Expo 2012 held at Walvis Bay this past weekend, looking, touching and tasting the many products on display. Others used the opportunity to network for possible business.
Over 200 exhibitors many of them from government institutions, parastatals and corporation as well as food vendors, toys and gadget sellers and household, fashion, tourism and leisure showcased their products and services .
The Standard Bank Auto Show, which has also become synonymous with the expo gave car lovers and prospective vehicle owners the chance to view some of the latest models of popular vehicle brands.
The expo has enjoyed much growth since it was introduced in 2004. From a mere 15 exhibitors, today, there are 200. "This is a true testimony of the confidence local, regional and international business has in what the expo means for the growth of their businesses, and in the Erongo region as a place to do business," said Erongo Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua at the official launch of the expo last Thursday.
This year, there was more room for those showcasing the tourism industry at the expo – especially with regard to the promotion of domestic tourism.
Chairman of the Coastal Tourism Association of Namibia (CTAN), Peter von Ginkel said that domestic tourism was a difficult market to tap into as local people tend to arrange private accommodation with friends and family at the coast as opposed to using accommodation establishments.
"And whilst the biggest challenge in attracting domestic tourists is the cost of accommodation and getting them to spend money on activities other than fishing and spending time on the beach, we are confident that expos such as the Namport Erongo and Tourism Expo 2012 will get our local people to see the myriad of activities the tourism sector has to offer in the Erongo region – especially as we now gear up for the annual Christmas holidays," Von Ginkel says.