NAMIBIA has had 2,5% more tourists in 2019 than in 2018.
Minister of environmment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta yesterday revealed more than 1,6 million tourists visited Namibia in 2019.
He was speaking at the launch of the tourism statistics report for 2019 in Windhoek.
The report indicates visitors from Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom dominated the tourist arrivals in Namibia last year.
"September and December accounted for the most arrivals of all tourists travelling to Namibia in this period," he said.
The increase in tourist arrivals has triggered much-needed growth in the sector, including investment in infrastructure, human resource development and job opportunities.
Shifeta said: "Tourism touches every aspect of our society and its impact is felt even in the remotest areas of our country."
The ministry's tourism revival initiative, which commenced on 3 August 2020 is a way of balancing the country's health and the economy.
The initiative aims to save more than 120 000 jobs, he said.
"The unprecedented challenges brought by Covid-19 have ravaged the global tourism sector and Namibia has not been spared.
"Much of what we have gained over 30 years has become lost in just over four months," the minister said.
"The ministry of tourism is doing its utmost to revive the sector and to ensure it recovers and emerges stronger after the shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
The report recommended that the government increase the budget allocation to the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) to enable it to make the Namibia brand more visible on international marketing platforms targeting European markets, where the most buying power lies.
There is a need to intensify the NTB's marketing strategy to ensure that Namibia is a preferred destination in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.