Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Incentives in Tourism - First Lady

Tourism is one of the drivers to transform and diversify the Namibian Economy against the background of aggressive competition in the global market place. Tourism is the driving force behind the sophisticated discerning tastes of today's travellers. High quality transportation and accommodation is mandatory.

According to Namibia's First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba., the Government recognises the potential of the tourism industry for employment creation, hard currency earnings and human development.

"In Namibia presently, we face a challenging future where the implementation of an incentive plan for hotels and guest houses is necessary. The implementation of the incentive plan will place resources behind improving products. By taking advantage of the incentive plan these properties can now effectively position themselves to take advantage of the projected upswing in tourism," she said.

She further said that the incentive plan for hotels and guest houses will improve the overall competitiveness of Namibia as a tourist destination with more competitive pricing and improvements in perception value that visitors spend.

The First Lady was speaking at the launch of Oshana Transfers and Tours which took place at Hilton Hotel on Wednesday. The company is funded by Heleni Shipena.

"This project is an explicit and unequivocal expression by the Namibian government of its commitment to support the tourism industry. The Government of Namibia is serious about tourism because it contributes to our Gross Domestic Product in a significant way," she added.

According to the company website, the company which was established in 2011, is owned by previously disadvantaged Namibians and specialises in transport and tours which operates locally, nationally as well as internationally.

"Oshana Transfer and Tours remain fully committed to dependable and sustainable service which provides an unforgettable high quality experience to our clients as well as actively infusing much needed expertise and capital into the economic society," it says.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uaahekua Herunga, Namibia's Environmental Commissioner, Teofilius Nghitila said that Oshana Transfer and Tours was founded on a vision of responsible tourism and sustainability, short distance, transportation alternatives as it provides a green, personal transportation experience with zero emissions and zero liability.

"The tourism potential of this product is phenomenal because visitors may now be able to explore Namibia or simply get around the country in an easy, comfortable, exhilarating and certainly liberating way at their own pace. This venture without doubt brings a different kind of excitement to our Tourism product and overall land based excursions," he said.

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