10 June 2019

Namibia: Building a Sustainable Namibia Wildlife Resorts

opinion

State-owned enterprises (SOE) fulfil significant social and economic roles. This is why members of the public keenly follow their affairs, especially their financial performance. It, therefore, goes without saying that one of the appropriate indicators on whether a commercial SOE is performing or not, is its ability to generate a profit for its shareholder which in this case is the Namibian Government. However, it must be mentioned that for profitability to occur, re-investing funds in the maintenance of facilities is essential to generate future sustainable profits.

This is why, with the limited resources at its disposal, NWR has begun addressing the maintenance challenges that some of its resorts have been experiencing, with Okaukuejo its flagship resort receiving attention, as well as Dolomite, Onkoshi, Sossus Dune Lodge and Sesriem being in line to receive attention as well. In addition to this, NWR is in talks with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to look at synergies that can be employed to address the conditions of the roads within the Etosha National Park as well as the Namib Naukluft Park (Sesriem). The company is positive that these interventions will improve the customer service experience.

With the current economic adversities that the domestic market is going through, NWR has taken a bold step in encouraging domestic travel through offering a standard Namibian discount of 25% to its nationals and 35% discount to pensioners and companies alike. These discounts have ensured that Namibians are given preferential pricing. Equally, the 75% discount which has become a once a year offer has provided several domestic travellers with the opportunity to see different corners of this country for next to nothing. For instance, during March, places such as Sossus Dune Lodge cost as little as N$575 per person sharing while their luxury river cabins at Popa Falls go for as low as N$375 per person sharing and Dolomite resort located inside the Etosha National Park costs N$515 per person sharing.

Furthermore, the call by the Government for Namibian SOEs to support Namibian supplies has further shown how NWR had already started playing its part by procuring goods and services from local suppliers that can provide the standards it requires for its guests. Through this, NWR has positively contributed socially and economically within the areas it operates at.

Also, NWR has made donations over the years of linen, towels and cutlery that it no longer uses to schools and communities near their operations. This has been one of the ways the organisation has over the years assisted its shareholder, the Government of the Republic of Namibia. Similarly, NWR has also supported private entities through sponsoring accommodation vouchers aimed at furthering its brand awareness. Quite recently, NWR sponsored the Africa Cup Inline Hockey tournament that was recently held in Swakopmund. Through this tournament, NWR had an opportunity to promote its establishments further to a diverse audience.

These efforts are all aimed at ensuring that NWR remains a true Namibian entity with aspirations to further create more opportunities for Namibians to be employed and contribute sustainably to the Namibian economy.

*Dr Matthias M Ngwangwama is the Acting Managing Director at Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

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