Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

20 December 2012

Namibia: Tourists Hit By Global Crisis

Although the number of tourists have slightly increased since 2010, according to the 2011 Annual Tourist Arrival Statistics Report, fewer non-African tourists visited the country during 2011.

The report states that a total of 1,027,229 tourists arrived in 2011, compared to 984,099 in 2010 representing an increase of 4.4%. However, non-African tourist arrivals declined by 10% (242,651 in 2011 compared to 269,811 in 2010). The number of tourists from Europe declined by 11.2%, those from North America were relatively constant with no increase and those from other overseas countries declined by 9% while tourists from Africa increased by 9.8%.

The decline of overseas (non-African) tourist arrivals in 2011 may be attributed to the current global financial and economic crisis which negatively affects international and intercontinental tourism given the financial distress being faced by the global aviation industry as well as other tourism sectors. the report states.

The statistics report includes information about the number of tourists, who visited the country, from which countries they came from, the purpose of their visits, the point of entry and how long they stayed in the country. The statistics provide useful data for investment, planning tourism development and further research.

In the 2011 rankings of top 10 tourism markets for Namibia, the structure remained the same as in 2010 which was as follows: Angola, South Africa, Germany, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), France and Netherlands.

Africa remained the big tourist market for Namibia in 2011 with 76.4% (784,579) arrivals, of which Angola accounted for 35.2% and South Africa accounted for 26.6%. African countries were followed by European countries with 18.9%, of which Germany accounted for the largest proportion (41.0%). North America and other overseas represented 2.2% and 2.5% of the total tourist arrivals in 2011 respectively.

In 2011, the majority of tourists (25.8%) were in the 30 to 39 years old age-group which was also the same for the majority of tourist arrivals to Namibia from Africa. However, the dominant age-group of tourists from North America and Europe was 60 years and above (30% and 24%, respectively), followed by the age-group of 50 to 59 years old with 20.2% and 22.5% respectively.

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